How much do you think about bettering your community when you wake up in the morning? Most people would admit to a few minutes – or not at all. For all the time we spend living, working, and playing in our home cities, we rarely take – or have – the time to reflect on what we could be doing to improve them, much less implement our ideas. Our days are already chock-full after all, with every moment occupied with full-time jobs, families, and the day-to-day details of life. But what if our concern for the community wasn’t so extraneous? What if we tried to integrate our philanthropic efforts with our day-to-day efforts? How much more could we be doing at work if we think beyond simple job descriptions?
When well thought-out and executed, corporate social responsibility programs provide benefit both to philanthropic organizations and the company itself. According to statistics provided by Project ROI, CSR programs have been found to reduce employee turnover by 50%, improve employee engagement by 7.5%, and boost revenue by as much as 20%. These message these findings send is clear: Philanthropy-based programs help companies boost performance and engage employees. Now, these programs take considerable time and effort to implement; however, small-scale philanthropy efforts at work can still go a long way to improve employee morale and help the greater community. Here, I outline a few suggestions to jumpstart a charitable culture in the workplace.
Pick a Cause
Selecting a company cause can be difficult – after all, we all support different organizations and hold different charities or missions above others. However, departments or teams may be able to avoid confusion by asking employees to make suggestions and holding a vote to pick a single cause to support. If the company as a whole wants to support a cause, those at its helm should consider the business’s mission statement and ask: What are our values? Which charitable cause aligns best with our interests?
Once you have a cause in mind, find a local charity to connect with. Volunteers like to understand and value the cause they support, and be able to see an organization’s positive impact firsthand. Think, would you rather support an organization halfway across the world, or one making a difference in your own community?
Employees may not want to volunteer as individuals, but they will step up as part of a team. Rather than simply asking for donations, workers should make volunteering a fun social activity by forming philanthropic “teams” and signing up for community events together.
Our days are busy. But if we make the effort to integrate philanthropy into our daily priorities, we may be able to spark positive change for both our communities and our companies.