While it may be obvious that it is important to give back to your community through philanthropy and volunteer-work, it’s not always easy to know how. Finding a cause that is meaningful to your organization, and creating a spirit of giving is just the start. Here are three tips on how to give back:
1. Start with your mission.
Review your mission statement or company philosophy to find a cause that aligns with your company values, or the service or products you offer. For example, if you own a small business that does home renovations and your mission statement is about sustainable construction, consider partnering with a Go Green Project based on your business’ mission, or Habitat for Humanity based on your business’ service.
2. Find out what you’re already supporting.
Find out which charities your associates and stakeholders support, through surveys. There may be commonalities among the charities that matter most to your people, and if they align to your values, then that’s something to consider. By choosing to support a charity that already has the support of associates and/or stakeholders, you will already buy-in when it comes time for donations or volunteer-work. They will also appreciate that they had input in choosing the charity and that the company listens to their voice in choosing a cause to support. Associates and stakeholders should also be encouraged to participate in the ways you give. Tap into the resources of your people—whether it be their connections in fundraising, their skillset in volunteer-work, or their ideas in generating donations or making an event successful.
3. Create a culture of giving
Consider if there are things your company does daily that can be tweaked to give back. Are you wasting food after events or meetings? Make a habit to donate. Do you own a clothing shop? Instead of holding a sale on overstock items, donate them to a clothing drive, or hold aside dresses or dress-shirts for a charity that provides business casual attire for an interview. Create a culture of giving in the office that becomes routine at a smaller level.
Whatever charity you choose to give to, look into the progress it has made due to your company’s donations or volunteer-work, and be assured that your company can take some responsibility for that! Share these successes with your associates and watch how your culture shifts to one of giving back.