Business leaders must constantly assess the return on investment of system-wide programs and initiatives. Things that were once considered just good business practice, like community and philanthropic engagement, are now seen as an investment. After all, what is more valuable in business than your time and money? Yet community engagement remains an investment whose power can never be underestimated. Genuine involvement in charity programs remains one of the easiest ways to build brand awareness, recruit and retain employees, and give back to the community that supports you.
Common sense dictates that philanthropic engagement is an easy and fun way to positively position your business with shareholders, investors, customers and employees. Not only does your involvement improve your image with those with an interest, but it’s also a good way to generate positive media coverage for your business.
More importantly, community involvement can do wonders for employee morale, which can lead to higher productivity and a fun, team-oriented work environment. In addition, coming together for a common cause promotes teamwork and the desire to learn new skills and practices. Many companies use philanthropic workplace programs to retain their employees and even recruit new ones. Job seekers are often drawn to companies that give back to their community and devote personal time away from the office to volunteer. In fact, 58% of companies use their employee volunteer programs to recruit and retain employees, according to the Corporate Volunteer Program as a Strategic Resource.
Your involvement does not only benefit your company and your employees, ultimately the organization in which you support has a better success rate thanks to your goodwill and generosity – you have opened the doors to them to get their message across. Additionally, your company’s involvement may have helped it achieve its own goals, whether that’s increasing its volunteer base, supporting the community, or making in-kind and / or cash donations.
Obviously, giving time and money to community engagement is a win-win situation, but there are literally hundreds of credible organizations in your community that want and need your support. How do you choose the right one for your business? Almost 82% of companies focus their employee volunteer programs on core business functions. (ie: those who work in real estate start with programs such as Habitat for Humanity). Additionally, programs that are directly related to the community you are based in, or programs that are universal for all businesses and all lifestyles, are also great places to start looking. The good thing is that any nonprofit you choose to support will be grateful and eager for your involvement.
It might sound cliché, but getting your employees and company names known in the community can be a way to achieve your corporate mission. It allows everyone – your business, your employees and the community itself – to win. But remember that with community engagement, just like with many important things in life, you get what you put into it.
Source: Corporate Volunteer Program as a Strategic Resource