Business leaders must constantly assess the ROI of system-wide programs and initiatives. Things that were once considered simply good business practice, such as community and philanthropic engagement, are now considered an investment. After all, in business, what could be more valuable than your time and money? Yet community engagement remains an investment whose power can never be underestimated. Genuine involvement in charitable programs remains one of the easiest ways to increase company awareness, recruit and retain employees, and give back to the community that supports you.
Common sense dictates that philanthropic engagement is an enjoyable and easy way to positively position your company with shareholders, investors, customers and employees. Your involvement not only improves your image with the people concerned, but it is also a good way to generate positive media coverage for your company.
More importantly, community involvement can do wonders for employee morale, which can lead to increased productivity and a fun, team-oriented work environment. Additionally, coming together around a common cause fosters teamwork and a desire to learn new skills and practices. Many companies use workplace philanthropy programs to retain employees and even recruit new ones. Job seekers are often drawn to companies that give back to their communities and provide 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 doesn’t just benefit your business and your employees, ultimately the organization you support has a better rate of success because of your goodwill and generosity – you’ve opened doors for them to pass on their message. Additionally, your company’s involvement may have helped it achieve its own goals, whether it’s increasing its volunteer base, community support, or in-kind and/or cash donations.
Obviously donating 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? Nearly 82% of companies focus their employee volunteer programs on core business functions. (ie: those working in real estate start with programs such as Habitat for Humanity). Additionally, programs that are directly related to the community in which you are based, or programs that are universal for all businesses and lifestyles, are also great places to start looking. The good thing is that any nonprofit you choose to support will appreciate and be eager for your involvement.
It may sound cliché, but getting your employees’ and company’s name out in the community can be a way to fulfill your company’s mission. This allows everyone – your company, your employees and the community itself – to win. But remember that with community involvement, just like with many important things in life, you get out of it what you put into it.
Source: Corporate Volunteer Program as a strategic resource