Making charitable donations and encouraging your employees to do the same isn’t just a “feel-good” thing or a means to a corporate tax break. If done right, a structured charitable giving program can drive real change in your community, boost your employment brand, and solidify your bottom line.
Companies that encourage community involvement clearly set themselves apart from the competition. Recent research showed that 83 percent of U.S. consumers consider corporate social responsibility when deciding which products or services to buy and where to shop.
Build a Culture of Giving Back
In today’s environment, where top talent strives to align their personal values with those of their employer, robust programs to boost philanthropy and community service are increasingly important.
- Activities related to giving back engage employees and offer them meaningful opportunities to collaborate and bond. This spirit of cooperation naturally spills over into the workplace. Ultimately, it contributes to improved performance, morale and productivity.
- When companies combine efforts with other individuals and businesses, they stand a better chance of driving real change. They can be powerful catalysts to help solve major local, regional and global issues.
How to Make Time – and why it’s Worth It
To realize the maximum benefits, use a targeted, documented approach for determining how your business and its employees will give back.
- Identify community needs. Find out what’s most important. For instance, are schools struggling? Build relationships and strategies based on those needs. You might want to partner with a local restaurant and have your employees volunteer to bus tables, promoting this heavily on what would otherwise be a slow night at the eatery. Donate their tips and ask the restaurant to give a portion of its profits to help underwrite class trips, an arts or sports program or books for school libraries. Everybody wins!
- Involve employees from the start. Providing avenues for them to give back helps build a collaborative and inspired team. Volunteering also provides leadership development opportunities.
- Create a plan. Evaluate company and employee strengths and select volunteer activities that draw upon them. For example, use your skilled trade workers to build a home through Habitat for Humanity. Decide how much time employees can volunteer on an annual basis, taking into account your operation demands.
- Let your customers know how you’re giving back. Take it a step further and align with them to help support their favorite causes. Publish your success on your website by listing dollar amounts of how much your donated time or services would normally cost next to the number of hours employees have spent giving back.
- Match employee gifts. This sends a message that your team members and their causes are important to you.
- Offer volunteer time off (VTO). Formally provide one or two days a year for each of your employees to provide community volunteer services. These can be used at a company-sponsored event or a program of their own choosing. Because it’s purely voluntary, VTO becomes an attractive part of your benefits package and employment brand.
- Build charitable giving into your marketing plan. With enough time and consistency, it will mesh into and support your customer’s buying experience.
Contemporary Personnel strives to build strong and lasting ties with the Syracuse community through our charitable works. For more tips on building your charitable giving program – and other workforce development strategies – read our related posts or contact the team at Contemporary Personnel today.