There is a lot of information online and in any number of workshops and seminars about the importance for a business to create a message of their mission, philosophy, and values. While this may seem like a “make work” exercise that business leadership trainers are using as a hot, trending topic, it is really a wonderful opportunity for a business or a company to engage with the community and to also support local charities.
There are some predictable and some not as apparent benefits or outcomes in working closely with a charity. A local organization can be particularly a good match, as it makes partnering at events and working directly in your community much more manageable.
Promoting Your Business
Most local charities have a high profile in their community. A business that helps, contributes, supports and donates to the charity will automatically gain recognition from the charity, and this information is passed along by word-of-mouth, by the advertising by the charity, as well as in mentions on social media, in the local papers, and sometimes even on the news.
While promoting your business is not the prime objective of partnering with a charity, it is an excellent benefit and one that resonates with community members.
Building a Sense of Team and Business Pride
Rather than just making a cash donation, consider getting involved with the charity. Employees can volunteer to participate along with the management team. This is a very effective way to get to know people outside of the work environment. It is also a place for individuals to show their skills, talents, and knowledge, which helps to allow employees and teams to understand what each member can bring to the workplace and the group.
Participating in a charity is also a way for employees and managers to feel a personal sense of pride in being involved in the charity. It creates a sense of belonging and shared values in the workplace and also helps to create a positive workplace culture.
Keep in mind, employees are a great source of advertising for your business, and when they feel good about the company they work for, they are going to share that information. This can be helpful in attracting a talent pool, as job seekers are more conscious of the social impact of the business than in the past.
Options to Consider
If you are interested in participating in a charity, talk to your employees and leadership to get ideas of the charities they are interested in supporting. Often developing a list of possible charities is an excellent starting point.
Depending on the type of work your business does, the following may be options to consider:
- Construction companies – organizations like Habitat for Humanity, group homes, senior citizen support groups or community organizations that help those in need of home repairs can all be ideal charities to support. Workers can volunteer time, and the business can provide materials to make repairs, build, or work with other companies on larger projects.
- Community events – special events for kids, groups, organizations, or activities in the community that are hosted by charities are always in need of volunteers. This is ideal for any business, and people with all types of work experience and skills are needed.
- Helping people – homes for any group of people, from seniors to homeless, are always in need of both volunteers, services, and support. These are often long-term charity partnerships, with positive interactions between employees and the people they are assisting.
Other ideas for businesses to support, include food banks or food drives, animal rescues and shelters, after school programs for kids, supporting a local sports team or helping organize, work at and support a seasonal event or a special activity.