Your relationship with the community is critical for your long-term business success. It all starts with understanding the importance of giving back to the community and outlining a robust game plan.

Why it is Important for Your Business to Give Back to the Community

So, why is it important for business to give back to the community? Giving back to your community is an effective way to invest back into the people who have supported your company.

Nonprofit and volunteer groups are vital in growing and supporting the community. But they cannot do it all by themselves, which is why giving back matters.

When your business gives back to the community, it also can help build your brand awareness. Providing value-first assistance back into the local entities will position your business in the favorable eye of the community.

A large majority of your local publications are full of content with businesses doing volunteer work, presenting checks, and supporting other events. While you are investing money into the community, it also serves as a cost-effective marketing tool to better position your brand.

3 Ways You Can Support Your Community

Giving back to the community is a big step for you and your business. Below are three strategies your business can start implementing today.

These company giving back to the community ideas are sure to boost brand awareness right away.

Commit a Day to Volunteer

You and your team can schedule a day in the future to execute a company-wide volunteer program in your local community. Volunteer days enable your employees to interact and strengthen company culture. If you have cross-functional teams who do not normally work together, a volunteer day allows for this.

While this could be a challenging project for a large company, there are things you can do to boost attendance. Send out a survey ahead of time to narrow down 2-3 dates that most people respond to.

You can also designate a “volunteer lead” to research community opportunities, conduct outreach to specific organizations, and plan the event.

Company Match Programs

Company match programs allow you to highlight your commitment to the community. The management team should evaluate a monetary match on any employee donations for specific non-profits.

Not only is a company an integral component of a social responsibility system, but it can also boost team member enthusiasm and engagement.

The company match has the potential to deliver a long-term impact through philanthropy and volunteerism. As you discuss with the company leadership team, assess the accountability, structure, and buy-in of the employees.

Next, assign ambassadors to execute the game plan, monitor performance, and engage with the employees on the program.

Letter or Mail Campaigns

If your employees cannot find time to volunteer offsite, they can provide value through letter and mail campaigns. You could prepare homemade, personalized cards or packages for hospitalized children or to those deployed in the military.

The project lead should schedule a “card-making” office event with supplies, snacks, and other resources to fulfill the initiative.

How to Encourage Employees to Be Passionate About Giving Back to the Community

Your company cannot carry out its social responsibility program without the willingness or buy-in from the employees. You must figure out a way to motivate your employees to participate or get involved in volunteering or giving back to the community.

The business must do its part to passionately support its employees in their quest to give back to the community.

Below are three specific things you can do to motivate your team members in being socially responsible.

Provide Flexibility to Allow Them to Do the Community Work

If you want your employees to give back to the community, you must enable them the time to do so. Allow them to go out in the city and do their work on company time.

While the employees may be willing to invest personal time into volunteering, you are likely to have less participation.

Corporations giving back to the community should always respect their team member’s right to work-life balance. It would be best to allow a few hours each month or quarter to let the employees engage in non-profit or volunteer work.

Deliver the Resources Necessary to Contribute

Recycling projects and food drives are excellent ways to get your employees to contribute to the social cause.

However, you can turn it around and provide your team members with a financial budget to direct toward the program or non-profit of their choosing.

Instead of asking for cans or food to give to a food bank, you can allocate smaller budgets to each group or department. These funds could be used to cook meals for a family in need, form a bake sale, or other value-added projects.

Create Autonomy

Although a formal giveback plan is effective, you can also leave it to your teams to develop creative outreach and volunteer initiatives. Doing so will empower your employees to manage their own time, be proactive, and strengthen relationships with other colleagues.

You could then hold a company event where each team shares what they did to impact the community.

How to Get Started Position Your Business to Give Back to the Community

It is never too late to make a strong commitment toward giving back to your community. Social responsibility will benefit your company, your customers, and the surrounding communities.

This process all begins with developing a plan. Much like your normal business operations, you must execute strategic planning to ensure success. Each month or quarter, set aside time to sit down with your team or yourself to brainstorm ways your company can improve the world.

Outline 3-5 goals, metrics on how to measure success, and set a deadline. Then, you can form teams, ambassadors, or social champions to carry out the mission.

From here, the sky's the limit in transforming the community around you, boosting brand awareness, and increasing team member engagement.

We here at ROK give back in many ways. For ever deal we fund, we donate 50 meals to Feeding America.

Here are some other giving back to the community examples, which will help get your name out to the loyal citizens:

  • Donate a percentage of your revenue toward a charity on a specific day, time, or frequency
  • Direct money toward a food bank
  • Offer your products or services at a discount (or free) at a related local event
  • Offer temporary use of a company vehicle at a local event or function
  • Sponsor a local youth sports group or team
  • If your community does a lot of parades, submit a float or help decorate

Share with me on social how you and your business give back  TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, or Instagram use #giveback

About the Author, James Webster

James Webster, founder and Executive Chairman of ROK Financial has almost two decades of experience within the financial services industry. His passion for helping small business owners and his innovative way of thinking, has allowed him to run multiple successful businesses including National Business Capital & Services. Under the National name, the team was able to help secure over $1 Billion in financing for small businesses nationwide.