It doesn’t matter what size your company is, or what industry you’re in, you should be involved in your community. If the positive impact component isn’t enough for you, community engagement and philanthropy mean increased customer loyalty and positive reflection on your bottom line. Whether it’s the neighborhood your office is in or your online community of users, you need to be present to reap the benefits of community involvement.
Employees tasked with purpose-driven work are more productive. For most people money is the major work motivator, but your team is more likely to work harder and be more innovative and creative in their solutions when their motivation is greater than covering their rent. It’s more than a millennial attraction technique – when a company is engaged in social good, it gives employees a reason to feel good about their work and invest more in their employer.
59% of Americans are more likely to buy a product associated with a corporate-nonprofit partnership and 61% are actively seeking partnership details before supporting the cause. Cone study
Beyond employee motivation, business leaders who jump into their communities are exposed to far greater networking and become an especially appealing business partner.
The Starting Point – Identifying What Matters
Whatever method you choose to support your community, make sure it matters and is relevant to your employees and your customers. Browse the local news to really take a look at your community and see what matters to them. Are the schools struggling? Does the animal shelter need donations? Does the local food bank need support? Find out where you can make a positive difference and remember that building relationships starts by making genuine connections with your customers, then finding ways you can contribute.
One way to do this is to directly ask your customers and employees what they want you to support. Sponsoring crowdfunding campaigns for community causes is a great way to build a relationship, get your brand exposure, and be sure that you’re supporting a cause where community members want to see action.
Reach Means Impact – Shout It From the Rooftops
Once you start executing your community involvement strategy, let all of your stakeholders know what you’re doing. Tell your employees, current and prospective customers by including this information on your website. If you’re strategy is based on employee volunteering or pro bono work, put a dollar amount of how much your donated time or services would normally cost next to the number of hours your employees have spent giving back so it’s easy for customers to quantify your impact. Sponsored crowdfunding campaigns are very easy to share and embed in your website (for example, the Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund), the greater the impact, and the greater the exposure for the sponsor brand and cause.
Crowdfunding and corporate community involvement are also great for generating PR buzz, both for the cause you’re supporting and your brand’s involvement. When you decide to get involved in your community, be prepared for media attention, greater customer loyalty, and a boost to your bottom line.