During a rather tumultuous time in our country’s history, many businesses and individuals are floundering, but volunteerism is flourishing. And not just among community members but within local and national brands. What does volunteering have to do with improving business? Everything!
Think about it. When you look at local charities, nonprofit organizations and such, who is on their Board of Directors? Who shows up to sponsor their events? Business professionals, that’s who.
Granted, giving of yourself and your time is not an entirely altruistic move. It can also help your business. Volunteerism and a genuine concern for the community elicit interest and a sense of camaraderie. It can also:
- Bolster the image of your company. Giving back to those in need shows your company is more than just about the money; it is about a sense of philanthropy and a concern for your employees, community members and others.
- Build partnerships with other businesses and organizations that can lead to future business ventures. Getting together with other business leaders and nonprofit organizations to create events, hands-on projects, or raising money for a cause exemplifies your core values and beliefs that we are all on this planet together and must help one another.
- Instill values. Employees, especially Millennials or Gen Z’ers are looking to work for businesses that allow them to volunteer their time and pay it forward. They grew up watching their parents do it.
- Help with employee retention. When your employees feel as if it is not just about the time clock but that you care about them and others who may not be doing as well financially or emotionally, they will devote themselves to you. And a dedicated employee is worth their weight in gold.
- Improve leadership skills. Giving people a chance to become involved with an extensive, local activity in the company or community promotes a sense of accomplishment and often leads to improved leadership skills.
How can you apply more volunteer opportunities to your business? Here are a few suggestions:
- Contact a local shelter or food pantry and ask for a list of items they need to help families fill the gap. You will also find many of these organizations have posted their wants and needs on their websites.
- Join a service club. Organizations such as Rotary, Kiwanis, Soroptomist International and others work on various community and international projects.
- Become active in an industry group. Whether this is a local Chamber of Commerce, an association, or a group geared toward other professionals in the same field, it will give you the ability to give back and may open up business opportunities.
- Hold events that benefit the community and involve your employees and/or clients. Although we are limited in the type of events we can hold due to COVID-19, start planning online events or those to be held several months down the road. Draw in residents, students, business professionals and others. It’s a great way to bring the people together and show them what the community means to you and your company.
- Use a variety of platforms. When holding events, seminars, workshops, online or in person, use various social media sites for advertising to and educating the public.
Helping our community and our employees flourish should always be top of mind, and not just because it makes good business sense, but because it is the right thing to do.
For information on how we might assist in finding out about volunteer activities, contact the North Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce: Nancy Hofmeister, 818-349-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit our website, NVRCC.org.