Giving back to the community is a core value for many businesses. But it requires more than paying lip service.
That’s why business leaders and corporate entities seek visible yet meaningful ways to support hospitals, schools, and charitable organizations in their communities. Not only is it important for brands to be seen helping in tangible ways, but your employees want to see action, too. In fact, many employees want to work for companies with robust charitable giving programs.
“When Boardsi recruits top-tier executives for the country’s biggest companies, they almost always ask about the company’s corporate giving track record,” says a company representative. “We find the most qualified, most sought after job candidates are also the most interested employer-based volunteer opportunities.”
That’s why corporate philanthropy means so much more than giving cash donations. Companies need to seek varied and unique ways for employees to participate in community service opportunities.
Here’s a look at 10 ways businesses can support community organizations without making a one-time financial donation.
1. Seek to Understand the Nonprofit’s Needs
If you want to support a nonprofit, don’t assume you know the organization’s specific needs. Ask what their exact needs are and how your company might be able to assist. It may be that a financial donation is the best idea, but there are other ways to show support. Serving on boards, arranging a strategic partnership, helping shape a new service or making employees available for volunteer service are among to help.
2. Make it Possible for Employees to Volunteer
It’s one thing to tell employees to volunteer. It’s another to make it easy for them to do. Grant employees PTO so they can volunteer. Think about the impact it would make. By giving employees one day per quarter, each employee could volunteer 32 hours per year. That’s could make a huge difference for a community service organization.
3. Co-sponsor Events with Nonprofits
Partner with nonprofits for fundraising or other high-profile events. Your brand will lend credibility to the nonprofit’s gala, concert, dinner or similar event. It’s an effective way to bring attention to the event and generate bigger gains for the nonprofit. Plus, your team members will enjoy the chance to attend and publicly show their support for the cause.
4. Offer Training in Your Area of Expertise
Offer your employees’ expertise to nonprofits so they can benefit from your knowledge base. There are many areas where smaller nonprofit may need technical training or mentorship. IT, marketing and human resources are generally big areas of need. Providing expertise will help them build policies and procedures that lead to financial independence and solvency. Your investment will pay big dividends for generations.
5. Offer Discounts for Nonprofits
If you want to help more than one nonprofit, considering giving product or service discounts to eligible organizations. This can actually pay off much bigger dividends for the organization than simply writing a check for the general fund. It’s especially helpful when nonprofits need to upgrade technology or make renovations to a building. Instead of paying the market price, offering a discount can stretch their limited dollars further.
6. Donate a Percentage of Revenue
Find a nonprofit whose mission aligns with your company’s mission and values and donate a percentage of your annual revenue to the cause. This is much more impactful than a single donation, even if it’s large. That’s because nonprofit need to know what revenue to expect from year to year instead of simply hoping a check shows up. Plus, you’ll be able to forge long-standing relationships with the people who work for the nonprofit, and they’ll know they have a guaranteed source of revenue each year. Even a small percentage of .5 percent of 1 percent can go a long way towards financial solvency for the agency.
7. Serve as a Mentor
If there’s an organization that you feel particularly connected with, volunteer your time as a mentor. By working with either the agency’s employees or their service recipients, you’ll discover a meaningful way to give back. Not only will you help the agency, but you’ll love the experience. Your life and business experiences will be invaluable to the folks on the front lines of service.
8. Join the Board of Directors Board of Directors
To have a more hands-on approach, join the board of directors of an agency whose mission you want to support. Having representation from corporate executives is incredibly important for nonprofits attempting to raise their visibility. And, your expertise will be incredibly helpful when it comes to day-to-day operations.
9. Build a Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy
Create a robust corporate social responsibility strategy that meshes with your overall business needs. You’ll generate opportunities for your employees to volunteer and engage with nonprofits agencies. You’ll be able to give back in ways beyond spending money and tangible resources. You’ll become a long-term partner with community agencies that align with your strategy.
10. Volunteer through Teambuilding
Organize a team-building event for employees that doubles as a volunteer effort for a nonprofit. Whether it’s a clean-up day at an animal shelter, preparing holiday food boxes for needy families or providing physical labor for a home building program, you’ll help a nonprofit while giving your employees the perfect chance to grow together outside the office.
Indeed, corporate social responsibility is important for brand identify, but it’s also important to employees These tactics will help you create meaningful ways to give back that make everyone happy.