How Volunteering & Community Service Benefit Your Business
It’s National Volunteer Week, and while the recent years have brought unique challenges to community service and how we can help one another, Americans have shown there’s never been a better time to serve. According to a 2023 press release from AmeriCorps, more than 60.7 million people formally volunteered with an organization, giving more than 4.1 billion hours of service with an estimated economic value of $122.9 billion. Additionally, 124.7 million people, informally helped their neighbors at least once in the past year.
Many non-profit organizations and charitable endeavors are integral to our society. As such, we as business leaders are obligated to community service, to strengthen the bond with those outside the company. School playground projects, youth sport sponsorships, clothing donation drives for local shelters: All these efforts improve our society. But they also improve your company.
Let’s explore why:
Community service projects build staff morale and team performance in multiple ways.
- By collaborating on a project outside the office or for a cause beyond their daily routine, team members become acquainted on a different, more personal level.
- The act of giving to others can bond a group through the shared experience.
- Most importantly, today’s younger workers (Generation Y) are activists – they prefer to work for employers who provide community service opportunities and thus, will seek out those jobs. They want to volunteer for the project, and also seek a sense of “ownership” through accomplishment. According to Forbes, 86% of Generation Y workers would quit their jobs if corporate responsibility programs started to slip.
I believe deeply that we as leaders should give back to our communities. My volunteer time is spent with Growing Together (top left), FIRST Robotics (top right), and the Boy Scouts (bottom right).The Persimmon Group team has volunteered at Circle of Care in Tulsa, OK (bottom left).
Serving the Greater Good
This phrase is bandied about quite often, but at its core, it is fresh in truth. Through service to our fellow mankind, human beings find a level of validation that goes beyond work performance or personal accolades.
The gift of time creates a deeper, longer-term sense of self and meaning to the individual. It also connects the staff with the community in ways or areas for which they previously lacked awareness. Supporting local schools help integrate your organization into the neighborhood whereas previously, it may have been viewed as only a building.
It Takes Time
Much of corporate giving has centered often around financial donations — which are crucial to non-profit organizations. But service creates a deeper connection. Truly building and supporting a culture of community service requires work and leadership, starting with the top of the company.
More than ever, leaders of successful organizations recognize that the obligations and objectives for running a business go beyond the financial transactions alone. The phrase “we are all in this together” should extend far beyond the pandemic, as we extend our reach to serve those in need.