July 25, 2024

Integrating Jewish Values Into Corporate Giving

Gala Event Showing The Total Expenditures of 2023

Businesses exist for the main purpose of making money. People, however, are on this earth for a higher purpose. What if we were to combine the two? What if businesses could use their resources and influence to make a positive impact on the world while still turning a profit? 

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and strategic philanthropy offer a way to do just that. This article will discuss why and how organizations embrace their role as change agents and use their unique assets to drive social progress.

Why Corporate Social Responsibility Matters

What’s the point of corporate social responsibility? It seems like a silly question, but most business-minded people consider it before putting their time and money into corporate giving. There are multiple strong arguments to be made for altruistically driven and extrinsic cases alike. Where regular investments have tangible returns, charitable ones create value for both the company and the cause at hand. From a business perspective, corporate social responsibility can enhance brand image, attract top talent, and improve customer loyalty. Employees increasingly want to work for companies that share their values and make a positive impact. Customers are similarly more likely to support brands that are committed to important causes. Meanwhile, corporate social responsibility is among the most far-reaching types of philanthropy. Large businesses have the power to make a meaningful impact on a variety of causes through compassionate giving (bitachon) Common donation recipients include: 

There’s no best charity to give to. With so many historic non-profit organizations in Israel and around the world, every company can find a way to build the world with kindness (olam chesed yibaneh) in alignment with their own values and capabilities.

A Culture of Jewish Philanthropy

Engagement in Jewish philanthropy holds much more meaning than simply organizing an annual holiday charity drive. Our faith encourages us to notice the good and promote peace at home (mitzvah of shalom bayit) and in community synagogues every day of the Jewish calendar year. Communal responsibility is what gives the global diaspora its characteristic resilience. All Israelis support one another, or ‘Kol Yisrael arevim zeh bazeh,’ because our history shows we’re stronger together. Many charity traditions and beautiful religious rituals (hiddur mitzvah) facilitate mutual responsibility (arvut hadadit). For example, donating a tenth of one’s income (ma’aser kesafim) is a common practice among Jews. So is leaving food for the poor (pe’ah), giving money for food (maos chitim) on holidays, protecting the poor, hosting guests (hachnasat orchim), and visiting the sick (bikur cholim). These acts of charity create psychological benefits for givers while fostering life-long change for recipients. 

Mitzvot and the Value of Corporate Giving

Some good deeds (mitzvot) make the most sense to perform on an individual level. However, there are just as many positive actions organizations can take as a whole. Their greater access to resources and influence exponentially scales the impact of positive change. For example, employee volunteer and donation matching programs are equivalent to hundreds of people deciding to sign up to volunteer or give on their own. Some organizations create art fundraisers or auctions to support charitable causes while promoting local artists. Modern giving tools even allow outreach to expand across office locations around the world. 

How Businesses Can Engage in Impactful Jewish Philanthropy

Repairing the world is big enough of a job for there to be many ways to approach it. Jewish law – along with the notable rebbes, Chabad leaders, and famous religious philanthropists who have dedicated their lives to this mission – recognizes work and service (avodah) in several forms. The Eight Degrees of Giving establish tiers in order of impact.  While all empathy and compassion (kiddush hashem) matters, acts of loving-kindness make the biggest difference when they enable self-sustenance. Systemic change is the most powerful way we can save souls (pikuach nefesh) both today and tomorrow. To that end, businesses are particularly well-positioned to leverage their unique resources and expertise to exhibit meaningful compassion and drive systemic change.  This could involve:

Scholarship Program

Colel Chabad’s scholarship program helps bridge the cultural divide between Russian immigrants and native Israelis. Our scholarships cover tuition fees, living expenses, and other essential costs, allowing recipients to focus on their studies without worrying about making ends meet.

Non-Profit Supermarkets

Colel Chabad’s network of nonprofit supermarkets provides affordable groceries to thousands of impoverished families across Israel. It’s our collective mission to ensure children have proper nutrition and that households don’t have to choose between putting food on the table and paying rent.

Dental Clinics

Our nine dental clinics throughout Israel provide essential preventive care and treatment for common oral health concerns. These regular check-ups and cleanings help impoverished families stay healthy while avoiding more serious and expensive down the line.

Colel Chabad: Connecting Corporate Giving with the Jewish Community

Corporate giving makes the biggest difference when it’s directed towards well-established support networks for families in need. If you want to ensure your donation goes far, consider donating to Colel Chabad. Our long history started over 200 years ago when prominent religious leaders founded Colel Chabad upon the Chabad movement and its teachings on the sanctity of human life (pikuach nefesh) While a lot has changed since 1788, human dignity and respect (kavod habriyot) remain our guiding principles to this day. We work tirelessly to uphold the highest standards of charity and tzedakah by providing critical assistance to those who need it most. When you engage in corporate giving with Colel Chabad, you’re working alongside the most qualified Jewish organization for the job. Individual men and women in philanthropy, along with a slew of notable companies and even everyday small businesses, share our commitment to repairing the world. Contributions of all sizes help us further our mission of uplifting the Jewish people and strengthening communities in Israel. Get involved in Colel Chabad’s charitable efforts today.

Yizkor Donation

בַּעֲבוּר שֶׁבְּלִי נֶדֶר אֶתֵּן צְדָקָה