In our recent post we shed a little light on why giving back is good for the overall health of your business. Wondering where to start? Here are some ways to incorporate giving back into your program and your life.
There are multiple vehicles for giving back: Talent, time, partnerships, goods, money. Remember that your expertise and talent are more valuable than your money. Opt for hands-on giving instead of writing a check. Identify an organization that parallels a part of your business or core values and spend an hour or so of your time and talents with them. Better yet, develop a partnership with the organization and you and your employees can develop a giving back relationship that will produce rewards for everyone involved for years. Through your growth you can increase your ‘gifts’ – whether they are monetary or hand-on, face-to-face volunteer events.
If you prefer to give ‘something,’ include donations of goods in your giving back efforts along with or instead of a monetary donation.
These are some of the easiest yet most powerful ways to be an active participant.
- Providing meals for struggling families who would otherwise not have a Thanksgiving dinner
- Packing basic household needs up for single mothers depending on welfare to care for their family
- Donating mittens and socks for children in cold, impoverished countries in the Ukraine
- Sending toiletries to prisoners
There are lots of ways to use your hands as your donation tools.
If you prefer to use your hands to write a check, remember that writing a check is a powerful contribution. It may not have the same emotional result as hands-on, face-to-face participation but charities need money to operate. Nothing would be possible without it so those who are willing to write the checks are greatly appreciated and needed. Some people prefer to be more behind-the-scenes or less visible in their support.
The benefits are many and often ones that you don’t expect from participating.
Give Back for Your Health
Did you know that people who volunteer more are generally healthier than those who don’t?
Establishing a relationship with a charity may be easier if the charity is smaller and local. Hand-on activities are much easier to participate in because there are more of them – and they are right under your nose in your own community. This choice may also make a more meaningful connection for your employees and get more participation from your entire group.
The Hidden Benefit
There is a hidden benefit to participation events: team-building. Especially for companies who have lots of mobile employees, have several locations or operate with a totally virtual operational structure, participatory events brings a large group of your team members together. Working together to sort food, creating a backpack stuffing assembly line or assembling bicycles for underprivileged children puts team members who may rarely see one another shoulder-to-shoulder working for a good cause.
According to Muhammad Ali, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” That truly describes giving back in language that everyone can relate to.
Every company should ask itself and its employees as Martin Luther King Jr posed the question: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?” And then get busy doing – for everyone’s benefit.
Read more great quotes about giving back.
If you missed Part 1 of this series, please read it!