Small Business Civic Engagement: Why it Matters & How to Get Involved
Is corporate volunteering one of your small business initiatives? It should be.
Community involvement is not only about giving back; it’s about building character within your business. It’s showing current and future clients that you care about others, it’s developing ethics and empathy within your employees, and it is a great way to attract the type of employees, clients, customers, and suppliers that you want to work with. Many business owners say they want to have a positive impact on their community, but getting there is a whole other story. We understand how the day-to-day wear and tear of running a business can often cause owners to lose focus of this goal. Stepping back and taking a good look at your business is important so you can see how close you are reaching your goals and not just the financial ones.
This year, Viking Mergers & Acquisitions made it a company goal to lead quarterly volunteer projects. In 2016, we have spent a day volunteering at the Special Olympics of Mecklenburg County, organized and conducted a donation drive for Safe Alliance Domestic Abuse Shelter, and have participated in a Habitat for Humanity home build. We started this program because we were founded on the belief that we should help those in need and give back to the community in which we thrive. Although we have, and continue to sponsor charitable events, we felt it was important to get out of the office and give back together as well. Participating in volunteer projects together has inspired a renewed sense of teamwork and growth among our staff, while making a positive impact on our community. This type of professional bonding cannot be obtained any other way and offers a variety of benefits for a small business.
Company volunteer work doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, as things can sometimes be when running a small business. Corporate volunteer projects should be a fun way for your team to bond while also engaging with your community. Volunteering will also build satisfaction among employees, which will lead to increased efficiency, and eventually, more profits, which is a main goal of many business owners. Below are some ways that your small business can benefit from volunteering along with some fun and easy ideas of how you and your business can give back.
Benefits of Small Business Civic Engagement:
- Build and strengthen interpersonal relationships between employees
- Improve your local community
- Attract the attention of people/companies whom you want to work with
- Marketing opportunities
- Strengthen company’s reputation
- Enhance the good will of the company
- Expand knowledge of team members
- Promote well-rounded employees
- Boost morale within the company and employees
- Establish connections with other volunteers
Simple Small Business Volunteer Ideas:
- Donation drive
- Spend the day at a food bank sorting food
- Walk/run event such as the Relay for Life
- Sponsor a sports team
- Company bake sale
- Plant trees and plants
- Adopt a highway
- Prepare a meal at a homeless shelter
- Angel Tree though the Salvation Army
- The Special Olympics
- Habitat for Humanity build
- Send cards/care packages to soldiers
- Toys for Tots drive
These are just a few ideas of how you and your business can give back to your local community. These events usually do not require much preparation, money, and can typically be done in a day. Try one of these ideas, or come up with your own, and you will be amazed at what it will do for your employees and business as a whole. Volunteering as a team offers a plethora of benefits. Some of which are extremely apparent from the beginning while some are subtle and will only make themselves known in the long run. However, one thing is for sure: volunteering will only benefit you and your company. So, sit down with your team and brainstorm some fun ways you can make a difference, for your business, your employees, and for your community.