In honor of National Volunteer Month, we’re taking a look at why companies like ours (and yours) should keep giving back.
Back when mom-and-pop shops reigned supreme, “community involvement” wasn’t some tab on a business’ website; it was an expected element of an employee’s everyday life. Communities were smaller and more tightly knit than they are today, and people rarely thought twice about helping out a neighbor.
They didn’t log their volunteer hours online or post about charity events on social media. But we do. Why? To be completely honest: because it makes us look good.
Nowadays, community engagement is often part of a company’s marketing strategy. Terms like “brand awareness” and “good publicity” are tossed around in conversations about supporting nonprofits and volunteering opportunities. This type of engagement may seem less authentic, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have an impact. In fact, the impact is massive. And not just for the organizations being supported, but also for the companies doing the supporting!
In 2020, 69% of total charitable giving in the US came from individual Americans, totaling around $324 trillion. What does this mean? It’s proof that people want to give. And they don’t just want to give their money. They want to give their time!
One in 4 Americans spends an average of 50 hours volunteering their time and services to various causes each year. That’s over 4 billion hours of service a year! One of our very own Nuway employees racked up well over 200 hours of service in 2021 — by herself!
why it matters for your company
On the surface, giving back looks good. People are more willing to buy from a company that displays empathy and engages with their community. But your success isn’t just about your customers. It’s really about your employees.
Ultimately, when your employees are more engaged in their community, they’re more engaged in your company. According to a United Healthcare report, 71% of employees who engage in volunteer activities through their workplace report improved feelings about their employer. And 70% of corporate volunteers believe company volunteering is more effective than company mixers at boosting morale. Furthermore, volunteering can help employees develop their collaboration and leadership skills, which can improve their workplace performance.
Still need convincing? Here’s another fun fact: by implementing a community involvement platform, you increase the likelihood of job candidates choosing your company over a competing employer. Yep, that’s right! Check out this 2016 Deloitte survey to learn more.
Bottom line: people don’t just want a job. They want a meaningful career that enriches their life and the lives of those around them. Giving back to one’s community improves one’s sense of self-worth and purpose in life. Being of service has even been proven to help improve physical health! Who doesn’t want healthier, happier employees?
what to do about it
But that’s just one piece of the puzzle. In order to get — and give — the most out of your experience, you first have to know your employees.
What are they passionate about? Would they rather clean a park on a Friday afternoon or help tutor kids for an hour every other week? Do they have a soft spot for animals? Do they enjoy projects like building wheelchair ramps for senior citizens? If you create opportunities for your team to support the causes they care about, they’re much more likely to engage in the activity.
Alternatively, if you don’t already have a community outreach program, consider creating a model like our Community Impact Builder Program. This program allows us to learn about, support, and bring awareness to organizations in our community.
Whichever way you decide to give, know that it does make an impact, both within your community and within your company.