Why Community Involvement Is Good for Your Business
Many businesses are getting more involved in their local communities. Even larger organizations with multiple locations are making a concerted effort to invest in the areas around them. This benevolence is, of course, the right thing to do. But beyond the ethical reasons for giving back, it turns out that getting involved in the local community is good for business.
Community involvement bolsters your company’s reputation.
Being involved with the community can strengthen your company’s reputation. Any public relations specialist will testify how nonprofit work helps associate your organization with generosity in others’ minds.
Participating in the community sets you apart from your competitors.
Your product and services may not differ that much from your competitors, but allow your community service to make a distinction, and it will pay off. Studies have found that 86% of Americans expect companies to address social and environmental issues, not just make a profit. The key word here is “expect.” Doing nothing will automatically put you behind the curve. And consumers are willing to put their money where their mouth is. The same study found that 87% purchased a product because the company advocated for an issue they cared about.
Community involvement attracts younger talent.
Being involved in the community doesn’t just make consumers more likely to want to buy your products or services, it also makes you a more attractive employer. Millennials in particular are especially motivated to work for companies that are more socially responsible, to the point where 56% of Americans would take a pay cut to work for a responsible company.
Community involvement improves employee morale.
Millennials aren’t the only employees that are affected by social impact, though. Addressing community issues on a corporate level can be a huge boost for employee morale no matter what generation they are. Giving back feels good, and being able to give your employees those good feelings will make them happier and more productive at work.
It allows you to network outside your typical circles.
While you shouldn’t give back to your community to gain something out of it, you also never know where new opportunities may come. It’s likely that getting involved in an area outside your typical circles will expose you to new ideas or even allow you to make new contacts that can help you make better, more informed business decisions. Knowledge is power, even when it comes from an unexpected source.
There are countless ways you can become involved in your local community. Here are just a few ideas:
Donate to a local nonprofit
Volunteer at local shelters or support employee volunteer activities
Host food/book drives
Serve on community boards
Manage a community clean-up day
Provide pro bono services or products
At the end of the day, the local community impacts your company, too. You will want to work and do business in a community that is growing and thriving, and giving back allows you to play a part in that growth.