I don’t think anyone would deny the importance of giving back, whether to your local community, an important cause, or to those who really need it. The question is how, as companies and employees, we can best serve others alongside our regular work. When we think of a company “giving back,” we might picture a photo op with a cartoonishly large check for a charity, but there are lots of different ways to help.
Okay, to be fair, one of them is money (whether on a normal check or a cartoonishly large one). Causes need money to function, and if your company can afford the expense, it can be a huge help. Things like cancer research, conservation efforts, and children’s hospitals are all worthy causes that legitimately need money to function. Executives can donate a portion of their salary, a company can make a donation, or you can hold a drive for your employees, while promising to match their donations. And if you’re one of those Scroogian hard-hearted types that needs a financial reason for everything, donations usually come with tax deductions.
Is there something that your company does (or you do as an employee), a skill that could help out another organization? If you’re a graphic designer, maybe offer your time to design the flyer for the upcoming fundraiser for the local library. If you’re a roofing company, maybe volunteer to repair a roof for a family in need after a hurricane. If you have a skill, offer it! (For example, we volunteered our skills as a creative video studio to help Redeemed spread the word for their fundraising gala).
Sometimes, a charity just needs your time. Maybe a local nursing home wants someone to talk to the residents. Maybe a local literacy group wants some time for you to talk with ESL students to help them practice their English speaking. Anyone can do this kind of giving, it’s just a matter of giving up a Saturday to walk in a charity 5K. Maybe as a company, figure out your lowest performing day (probably around a major holiday), and make that day a company-wide volunteering day, where you band together to clean up a park, or run a fundraiser carnival for local elementary students to raise money for the school.
Of course there are tangible business-minded reasons to give back (like tax-deductions, team building, and good PR), but more than anything, we’re all humans. We should acknowledge our shared humanity and help each other out. We’re all in this together, folks.
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