As we begin a new year, giving back to the community should be on top of all our resolution lists. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 17, 2022, marks the Day of Service – where people take action to give back to the community. This legislation was signed in 1983 on MLK’s birthday and the federal holiday was first observed in 1984.According to aascu.org, “The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President’s national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a ‘Beloved Community.’”
Businesses are recognizing a shift in their consumer’s habits as more and more people are looking to support companies with a philanthropic mission. 88% of Americans say they would buy products from a company leading with purpose. Job seekers also recognize the importance of giving back and want to work for companies that prioritize volunteering and philanthropy. According to Forbes, “Increasingly, [job seekers] want to find a purpose in life and are seeking out employers that share their values. That might be a commitment to sustainability, philanthropy, or social impact.”
Important Reasons Businesses Should Give Back
Giving back to the community is important for your employees’ engagement and sense of purpose, which in turn can boost their mental and physical wellbeing. When you encourage volunteering and supporting the community, there is a sense of purpose that comes with the knowledge that you’re making a positive impact.
Here are some of the reasons businesses should prioritize their community giving efforts.
1. It’s important to employees
Employees want to work for a company that has a sense of purpose and supports their local community or a charitable organization. Being able to have the opportunity to give back gives employees a sense of purpose and a sense of fulfillment, not to mention the mental health boost and the feeling of helping someone that comes with it.
2. Giving back builds connections
Volunteering and maintaining partnerships with nonprofits are great ways to network and connect with people in the community. Whether it’s a virtual event helping students with their portfolios or a hands-on event where you’re packing lunches, you will meet like-minded individuals who share the same values as you. These connections can lead to more opportunities to support the community and may even open other doors for your business.
3. Improves your brand reputation
Customers want to support businesses that have a sense of purpose and demonstrate their commitment to charitable causes. If your business takes the initiative to give back, your brand will be seen in a positive light and will make consumers aware that you care about the community. Talk about your community service initiatives and relationships with charitable organizations through your social media channels – you will stand out to consumers and job seekers.
4. Boosts employee morale and attracts top talent
The act of helping people and being involved in something that benefits others will always make you feel good. Your employees will feel incentivized and happy to work for you and will also feel a sense of belonging within the company. If you take the initiative to host company-wide events or encourage employees to volunteer together, they will strengthen their bonds and grow together. Candidates will be impressed by the philanthropic initiatives taken by your business and will want to be a part of a company that finds it important to support the community.
How Businesses Can Take Action
Here are some of the initiatives you can implement within your business to start giving back to your community.
1. Provide paid volunteer time off
A great incentive and a good way to encourage volunteering among your employees is to add paid volunteer time to the benefits package. We have mentioned how beneficial it is for morale and mental health, so it’s a win-win for the business, employees, and the community.
2. Partner with charitable organizations
If you or most of your employees are passionate about a charity or nonprofit, do some research and see how you can form a partnership with them. Whether it’s collaborating with the company, raising awareness about the cause, or hosting fundraisers, teaming up with a philanthropic organization will be a great way to support the causes you are passionate about.
For example, Roth Staffing supports several organizations nationally that also encourage volunteerism from hunger, health, the environment, animals, and workforce development and diversity. And the best part, many of our coworkers played a role to get things started.
3. Have donation or fundraising opportunities
One of the many ways you can offer donation opportunities is by sending out a survey to find out which causes are most important to your employees. Then, you can have fundraising events or options for employees to donate. You can also donate some of the proceeds or a percentage of profits to charitable organizations of your choice to further help the community.
4. Host company-wide volunteer events
An amazing way to bring your employees together is to host a companywide volunteer event with a nonprofit or the philanthropy you have partnered with. This could be a beach or park cleanup, providing meals for the hungry, helping animals or anything else that will support the community. It’s a great opportunity to build camaraderie among employees and do something good together.
5. Lend your skills pro-bono
If your business can help people or companies in need, provide this opportunity to the community and share your skills for free! You can ask a group of employees who are willing to take part in this initiative and rotate the groups for the next pro-bono project.
Supporting your community and taking time to invest in giving back has a win-win effect for your businesses, your employees and the community. There are so many opportunities for your company to take advantage of. Be open to ideas from your employees and seek out partnerships if your business can work with a non-profit organization.