For some of the greatest business leaders in history, philanthropy has gone hand in hand with a successful career and a well-lived life. Charitable work, such as volunteering or donating to a good cause, does not only help underserved communities, but it can help us become better people through helping their community. Also, businesses that incorporate philanthropy into their culture can ultimately become better companies as well. Here are a few ways to incorporate philanthropy into the culture of a business, and why the world’s top CEOs make helping others a top priority.

No Time Like the Present
As a wise person once said, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second best time to plant a tree is today.” In other words, there is no time like the present to incorporate philanthropy into our vision of the future for our business. By starting small and building a solid foundation for charitable giving or volunteer work, companies can get on the road towards a top-tier philanthropic program; as leading businesses such as Microsoft and Walmart have shown, it’s never too late to create a sterling charitable mission.

Find Your Strong Suit
For tech CEO Bill Gates, for example, philanthropy wasn’t always a high priority. Since 2000, and with the founding of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, however, Gates has set the standard by which all business philanthropists are measured; having donated over $50 billion of his own net worth to charitable causes involved in fighting malaria and supporting agricultural development, Gates has made a serious impact on the well-being of countless people the world over. By finding causes that he was passionate about, Gates made a significant impact on the world around him; in fact, he is perhaps better known today for his charitable work than for founding Microsoft!

Surround Yourself With Giving People
An adage has it that if we want to become better people, we should surround ourselves with people that we admire. A great way for business leaders to incorporate philanthropy into their company’s mission is by learning from other leaders in their community; by attending conferences or joining local charitable organizations such as Rotary International, business leaders can make connections that last a lifetime. By learning from people who have made charitable work second nature, we can become improve ourselves as leaders and as people.

For these reasons, incorporating philanthropy into a company’s culture is a meaningful step in any business leader’s career. Even if we’re late bloomers to philanthropic giving, it is never too late to make a difference in other peoples’ lives. And that is business done right!