Talking About Philanthropy

Dec. 1, 2023
Giving goes a long way.

"Life is like a hurricane, here in Duckburg.” 

“Racecars, lasers, airplanes, it’s a duck blur!” 

Please tell me you know what I am talking about! Fun fact, if you set your oil pumps to 80 psi and let that oil gun go wide open, it’s about the same tempo and sound as the intro to that song. I loved DuckTales when I was a kid. For all you youth, Google it. Maybe there are some Tik Tok videos on it. For all you old timers, ask your now greying kids. Now that I have insulted most of the readership (and the others are singing the next lines in the theme song), I wanted to talk about Scrooge McDuck. The Scottish born American entrepreneur that made his way to the top, and counted every coin on the way up. His famous vault of coins soothed him as he dove in for a swim as the bugle boys schemed to rid him of his glory.    

Despite his character employing lots of people in Duckburg and taking care of his nephew's kids for him, Scrooge (named and likened after the main character Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens) is seen as a tight, money hungry cheapskate who clings to the wallet tighter than a fat kid clutching a candy bar around his older brothers when Mom isn’t looking (well, that brings back my childhood trauma.) 

It’s no wonder success is linked with greed. The younger generation has Mr. Krabs from the Krusty Krab, I have Scrooge McDuck and the generation before me had Jack Benny. Success has been linked to greed and bad deeds almost as long as money has been around. So don’t look so surprised when your technicians look at you with that “must be nice” scowl. They think all the money that came in today just went in your pocket after all.  

The challenge is you need to adapt to today’s workforce. That’s right, you are not going to change the world, you are going to adapt it and prosper from it.  In the beginning the workers worked to provide. You could appease their contempt with a check that paid for the house and put food on the table. Fast forward to the next generational lunge and they worked for a title. The world of the Vice President of Operations, Senior Vice President of Project Management, Director of This and Supervisors of That empowered the employer to latch on to quality workers by giving them a flashier name.  Today they work for a cause! Money is still needed, titles are nice, but if you don’t align with their vision of making a mark towards a better world, you are just a job. Philanthropy is a recruiting tool to bring people together to fight for a cause. 

It is not just about getting talent or tax write offs. Donating to the causes in your community builds brand awareness. Giving, participating in, and spearheading events gets your brand in front of people who care about those causes. People who care about causes support people who care about those same causes.  One of the aces in this field is Chief Strategy Office for Tidal Wave Auto Spa Jazmin Davis. If you are not following her on LinkedIn, you are missing gold. Jazmin has master planned communications and branding strategies for some of the best companies. Even with a dominant national company like Take 5, Jazmin crafted events to make big corporations appear to be the little mom and pop that cares in many cases. To be seen from the community trumps being seen from the street corner any day.   

I get it. Times are tough! Budgets are barely in reach. You have to pay more for insurance next year and the strike has played havoc on your ability to lock in the guest for the mechanical repairs due to the parts shortage. Good news, it doesn’t actually take your money to give. In fact, most money donated to the Breast Cancer Foundation and Children’s Miracle Network come from customers donating. Small shops hang those paper balloons, the Walmart self-checkout reminds you to donate. At the end you cut the check and have your name on the donor list. You don’t supply the cans during a food drive, or coats for the coat drive. Your ability to host, teach, and collect go a long way to the causes and people that support them.  

 So, before you do the breaststroke in your money pit tonight, consider why people look at you as the shop on the corner and not “insert your awesome brand." Work with your team, ask them what is important, and look at bumper stickers of your guests vehicles. Your ability to give is well within your reach.  

About the Author

Lenny Saucier

LENNY SAUCIER has been serving the automotive aftermarket and its future leaders since 2000. He serves as director of retail training at Fullspeed Automotive. He can be reached at [email protected].

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