Close this search box.
over 200,000 downloads

Episode 129 | Philanthropy for Group Practice Owners



  • Episode 129 | Philanthropy for Group Practice Owners 00:00


Philanthropy for Group Practice Owners

Hi Group Practice Listeners! I’m talking about the idea of philanthropy as a business owner.

In this episode I cover:

  • What philanthropy is
  • Types of philanthropy
  • How to engage in philanthropy as a business owner

This episode is sponsored by TherapyNotes. TherapyNotes is an EHR software that helps behavioral health professionals manage their practice with confidence and efficiency. I use TherapyNotes in my own group practice and love its amazing support team, billing features, and scheduling capabilities. It serves us well as a large group practice owner.

Do you ever wish for a financial therapist who could relieve you from the last few months’ bookkeeping, talk you off the edge when you’re running into issues with Quickbooks, or help you work through a profit plan for growth? GreenOak Accounting does just that! GreenOak Accounting is an accounting firm that specializes in working with group practices. Their value goes WAY beyond bookkeeping; they can help you get on track for financial success. Schedule a free consultation by going to


Maureen Werrbach

Hey, everyone, welcome back. Today I want to talk about the idea of philanthropy as a business owner. I recently did a training in the membership site on harnessing your group practice for philanthropic endeavours and talked a little bit about ways to engage in personal or corporate philanthropy. But I wanted to use this podcast episode to talk a little bit about what being a philanthropist means, and some common definitions of different types of philanthropy that are out there. Just to sort of get your brain moving. I know a lot of us think about how we can create a larger impact on our communities and in our neighbourhoods, and, you know, create a larger impact in general, once our group practices are established and running smoothly.

And so philanthropy is something that I’ve stepped into over the past couple of years. It creates a feeling of higher purpose that you’re doing more. And it’s a really great way to engage in the community and give back at a larger scale. So if you if you want to learn more, you can go to the exchange membership site and watch our latest training on harnessing your practice for philanthropic endeavors, where we go into detail on not only some common descriptions and definitions, but some stats on entrepreneurs as philanthropists, social and economic benefits of engaging in philanthropy, some real life examples of companies that are doing it right and doing it well, as well as different types of corporate philanthropy, along with their tax and deduction aspects to it.

So I wanted to start by just talking today about what philanthropy is.

Its general definition is a person who’s donating their time, donating money or experience or skills or talent, to help create a better world. And anyone can be a philanthropist regardless of what their status is or what their net worth is. I know a lot of people historically view philanthropy as something that the rich and wealthy do. But really, anyone can be a philanthropist. And what is beautiful about it is that you can define what philanthropy looks like for you as a person or for you for your company. If you’re part of your vision, and your mission for your company is to engage in philanthropy.

So that’s the general definition. And then there’s a few different ways to look at philanthropy.

There’s corporate philanthropy, which engages your business in philanthropy, not just yourself. And it typically helps support communities that are near your business. And they’re usually helping, you know, local nonprofits through corporate giving programs or volunteer grants or matching gift programs, or sponsorships or donations. Most commonly we see that in our industry–businesses that are donating money or donating time.

And, you know, one of the ways that we do it is by sponsoring events that are happening in the community that are through nonprofits. It’s a way to to give back into the communities that our group practices are in.

But there’s a ton of other ways to do that kind of corporate philanthropy.

Volunteer grants is an employee benefit that you can offer that pays a certain amount of dollars for in exchange for a certain amount of time that that employee spends volunteering. I think Verizon is one that does this. And they offer–and I might be wrong about the exact numbers her–but for every 50 hours that a person volunteers their time, they get $750, right. And that’s a benefit that you can offer, and obviously come up with your own terms for it, but essentially promoting your team to give back into the community by paying them for time that they spend volunteering, and then you can come up with some sort of system for what that max amount is, how much is it per year. But that’s a great way to engage your company in philanthropy and not just you yourself as an entrepreneur.

Then I’m thinking about corporate philanthropy versus corporate social responsibility, which a lot of people confuse the two.

So philanthropy involves supporting specific causes. But Corporate Social Responsibility means that a business is working to mitigate any potentially negative effects on the community, and also solve for the effects that it has socially, environmentally, or on the general public health. And so Corporate Social Responsibility is like, what responsibility is your business taking in mitigating any negative effects that it could be having on the general public? One of those things for for my group practice is, we accept insurance, right. So that’s one way that we engage in corporate social responsibility. And this is just based off of the values of our businesses to allow for people to not have to pay out of pocket.

Other ways that that can be done for private pay practices might be hovering, having sliding scale, or interns in their practice that are taking a lower rate so that those that might not be able to otherwise normally be able to afford to pay out of pocket, they have an option in their in their business to be able to see someone that is at a lower rate.

So there’s a difference between philanthropy, corporate philanthropy and corporate social responsibility, where the business as a whole is aware of its effects on social on society, and its negative effects on society. And they’re working at creating awareness and mitigating those negative effects on the community by engaging in some sort of behavior that that mitigates that. So, like I said, those examples might be having a sliding scale, a reduced rate, or accepting insurance. And, obviously, the sky’s the limit on that. But there’s definitely a difference between philanthropy and what social responsibility your business is taking in your in your community.

I also get people asking questions around philanthropy and charity like: is philanthropy the same as charity?

Are they two separate things? They’re often interchanged very similarly to corporate philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. If you think about it, philanthropy is a strategic process of giving that it seeks to identify root causes of systemic issues, and tries to make the world a better place by tackling larger societal problems. That’s philanthropy, right? There’s a purpose a process to identifying root causes of a problem and, and kind of pulling those out. Charity is an empathic response to an immediate need or crisis. If you think about it’s like the spare change that we leave in our jars, or the rounding up we do in the stores when we’re buying things that charity.

And so when thinking about how both of these are obviously great ways to give back, one isn’t better than the other. But there’s definitely a difference between what we’re giving, you know, to the people standing outside of the grocery stores like Salvation Army’s and such, versus seeing a problem, a societal problem, a systemic issue that feels important to you as a person or as a business and engaging in time, money effort in uprooting that and making that change for the long run. So I hope that makes sense.

I wanted to end with some interesting stats. Entrepreneurs as philanthropists, because it’s pretty amazing to see the stats on how many entrepreneurs are engaging in philanthropy.

So on average, around 66% of entrepreneurs engage in two or more hours of volunteer work. So higher than I thought when I initially found these stats 47% of entrepreneurs consider themselves philanthropists. 60% believe giving is important relative to other financial priorities. So 60% of entrepreneurs believe that giving is just as important or just as, as relevant as other financial priorities. 75% believe volunteering affects our professional success. And this goes to I talk a little bit about this in the training, but this goes to social benefits versus economic benefits of being a philanthropist, some people engage in philanthropy as a business, because of the social benefits. And some do it because of economic benefits.

Philanthropy can sometimes actually increase profits.

And so there’s a whole discussion around, you know, altruism in philanthropy, and how to kind of converge both the peer philanthropy along with the business benefits of philanthropy 61% of entrepreneurs who want to be personally involved in charities, as just as opposed to just donating money, right, that’s more of the charity work. But 61% of entrepreneurs want to actually be involved on a personal level beyond just giving away money. 49% have formal or informal programs of giving back through their business, which is pretty cool.

And then lastly, 69% of entrepreneurs that are right now planning to exit their business in the next five years, have philanthropy in mind as part of their exit strategy, which I think is really cool. It means that when they’re writing up their proposals for selling their business, they have a section on philanthropy, of how they want their business to engage in philanthropy upon that sale, which is pretty amazing.

So I don’t know, what do you guys think about that? You know, as my businesses continue to grow and take care of themselves in a lot of ways, it’s become increasingly important for me as a business owner to feel like I am doing more beyond what I’m doing in my businesses. And so philanthropy has become a part of my life, that’s important. That makes me feel like I’m giving a greater value beyond what my businesses are giving to the community. And so I don’t know how you guys are feeling and where you’re at in your journey.

Obviously, philanthropy is really hard to do when you’re in the midst of growing and or starting your business because that’s where the focus needs to go.

But for many of us who are in this place where businesses are self sustaining and taking care of themselves, philanthropy is a great way to take your skills and put them to good use to society at large. So let me know what you guys are doing as philanthropists, and what is working for you what you love about it, or any questions that you have. I’d be interested to see where you’re at in the process. Have a good one.

Maureen Werrbach

Thanks for listening to the group practice exchange podcast. Like what you heard? Give us five stars on whatever platform you’re listening from. Need extra suppor? Join The Exchange, a membership community just for group practice owners with monthly office hours, live webinars, and a library of trainings ready for you to dive into visit www dot members dot the group practice exchange dot com forward slash exchange. See you next week.

Thanks For Listening

Thanks for listening to the group practice exchange podcast. Like what you heard? Give us five stars on whatever platform you’re listening from. Need extra suppor? Join The Exchange, a membership community just for group practice owners with monthly office hours, live webinars, and a library of trainings ready for you to dive into visit www dot members dot the group practice exchange dot com forward slash exchange. See you next week.


Here are the resources and guides we recommend based on this episode

therapy notes

*Need a good EHR for your group practice? TherapyNotes is it. I’ve been using it for years in my own group practice, and it does really well when it comes to having the features group practice owners need. Try it out for FREE for 2 months by clicking here.

* I am an affiliate for some of the businesses I recommend. These are companies that I use in my own group practice, and make recommendations based off of my experience with them. When you use some of these companies through my links, I receive compensation, which helps me continue to offer great free information on my podcast, blog, Facebook group, and website.

Related Episodes


TGPE Ep 1 Intro

25 MIN

Episode 81: Creating an Office Culture When You’re Out of the Office with Traci Pirri

26 MIN

Episode 84 | Out of Network Benefits with Christine Carville

18 MIN

Episode 126 | Stepping Away to Allow Time for Rest and Recovery

33 MIN

Episode 198 | Antiracism Revolution with Nathalie Edmond

21 MIN

Episode 201 | Investing and Planning for The Future with Tess Zigo

Meet your host


Maureen Werrbach is a psychotherapist, group practice owner and group practice coach. Learn more about her coaching services here:


The show

The podcast is structured so that you get practice building tips in small doses, where an episode can be listened to (and a group practice building lesson can be learned) in a single car ride.

Episodes are structured into categories: coaching sessions where I coach a group practice owner on a specific topic, tips of the day by yours truly, real talk where you get to be a fly on the wall while an established group practice owner and I talk about the highs and lows of ownership, and trainings done by experts in the field.

Don’t miss an episode! Download The Group Practice Exchange Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher or Google Play and don’t forget to subscribe and rate TGPE

* The content of this post is intended to serve as general advice and information. It is not to be taken as legal advice and may not account for all rules and regulations in every jurisdiction. For legal advice, please contact an attorney.

Subscribe To The Podcast

On your favorite player