Why corporate giving is more important than ever
Companies of all sizes have successfully implemented programs to give back
With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting nonprofits—from cancelling in-person fundraising events to dwindling volunteers over the past few years—it’s more important than ever to give back and support their missions and critically important services for your local community.
The pandemic has also increased the amount of people in our communities in need of services from our beloved nonprofits.
Giving back at the corporate level not only helps the community you live in, but there are many benefits including building morale when your internal team works together for the greater good outside of the office.
Giving back to the community has been part of Brownstein’s DNA since it was founded 52 years ago and the firm’s leadership continues that commitment today.
Yearly, Brownstein now supports more than 300 nonprofit organizations in the communities where our employees work and live.
More than 70% of the attorneys and policy professionals at Brownstein sit on boards of nonprofit and civic organizations. Firmwide, we provide over 12,000 annual hours of pro bono legal services to help underserved individuals and organizations.
And more than 400 Brownstein team members volunteered at Karma Projects—volunteer projects designed to engage our employees, clients, families and friends in giving back to their communities through hands-on service.
If your business is also rebuilding from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a multitude of ways to help the nonprofits in your community.
First, if you are just launching your CSR program, it’s good to start small and remember you don’t have to take on every initiative. For starters, encourage and support your employees to serve on a nonprofit board.
Board service develops leadership skills, helps to broaden skills outside one’s typical skill set and provides employees with a way to support the causes they care about in a purpose-driven organization.
Businesses can support employees’ engagement with board service by providing paid time off for board service hours, financially contributing to the nonprofits where employees are serving through sponsorships or outright charitable gifts or matches, and by providing training opportunities on nonprofit board responsibilities and duties.
Another way companies can give back is by creating opportunities for employees to volunteer, either with skills-based volunteering or for more general volunteering opportunities. Skills-based volunteering uses an employee’s professional skills to offer pro bono support.
For example, law firms can offer pro bono review of contracts or help with legal matters, those in the financial sector can offer accounting systems review or setup and companies in the tech sector can offer website or database design.
More general “done in a day” projects or ongoing volunteer opportunities are also just as impactful. Consider it finding a company’s passion and lending a hand. This could be something like a trail build or cleanup, helping out at a food bank, spending time with animals at an animal shelter, cleaning up parks in nearby neighborhoods, planting a garden at a local school or reading to children.
The options are endless, both in-person and virtually. Companies can also provide extra motivation to employees by offering special recognition for those who participate or financial donations to a nonprofit made on the employee’s behalf.
Corporate giving programs provide so many benefits, not only for the community but for companies who establish these practices.
Company benefits include positively impacting company culture; growing employee engagement and collaboration, which is a priority for many while still navigating the challenges of COVID-19 and remote work; deepening client relationships; and recruiting top-tier employees.
Companies of all sizes have successfully implemented programs to give back. Finding and creating an authentic program is important in order to create a successful and long-lasting effort. Engage with your employees, including company leadership. This is essential for significant participation.
Identify your company’s top goals: Is it impact for the community? Increasing employee engagement? Increasing brand awareness? Leadership opportunities? Once you have identified company priorities, jump in! Reach out to the organizations and nonprofits in your community doing the work most meaningful to your company. They will be a great resource to get you started.
As you look ahead into 2022 with budgets and planning, we encourage you to find the right way for your business to give back to your local community.