The Beneficiaries of Corporate Community Service
America’s largest corporations hold nearly one-third of the country’s wealth. That’s just 18 firms across the entire United States accounting for 36 percent of all capital. Imagine what could be accomplished if companies of this scale vowed to give back to their respective communities.
Aside from the obvious financial benefit, corporate community service would affect communities on a global scale. There’s a mounting interest in companies who value corporate social responsibility (CSR) as part of their business platform — and this enthusiasm is stemming from customers, employees, potential job seekers, and local communities alike.
Philanthropy and volunteerism create a significant social impact on thousands of individuals. Let’s take a look at the potential beneficiaries of corporate community service worldwide.
Benefits of a Community Service Policy For Your Business
As society moves towards a more conscious consumer mentality, there’s been an increasing demand for social responsibility on behalf of businesses both big and small. Larger corporations, with more employees, a broader network of connections, and considerably larger margins, have specifically been called upon to implement socially conscious initiatives. In particular, more corporations have implemented a community service policy.
A community service policy is generally described as a company initiative through which the business commits its efforts to give back to its community. These programs create opportunities for employers to volunteer while simultaneously providing for local charities, organizations, or neighborhoods. Jeffrey Scott Bartel, for example, chairman and managing director of Hamptons Group is a high-impact philanthropist in South Florida. He notes that corporate community service initiatives vary depending on the size of the company as well as the business’s locality.
For some companies, community service policies involve organized volunteer activities, such as a food drive or beach clean-up. In other instances, companies may provide paid time off to employees to volunteer. Jeff Bartel points out that in either case, the company takes an active role in both supporting and applauding employees to engage in humanitarian activities.
Consider how corporate community service programs impact a business from the bottom up.
Corporate Community Service and Current Employees
It goes without saying that employees participating in a corporate community service program will feel a strong sense of self-satisfaction after a day of volunteering. But did you know corporate community service policies also improve both employee engagement and retention? A study completed by the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship discovered that 90 percent of companies surveyed cited improved employee engagement as one of the top three benefits of implementing an employee volunteer program.
A secondary study by Microedge confirmed the college’s findings, noting that employees who volunteer routinely statistically feel more loyalty to their company. Likewise, these same employees report feeling more proud of their organization compared to employees who choose not to volunteer.
Corporate Community Service and Job Seekers
Aside from current employees, potential job seekers are another pool of community service beneficiaries. As found in the previously mentioned Microedge study, 70 percent of employees between 21 and 35 strongly favor companies that are committed to their community. Considering the employment market is flooded with job seekers among that age frame, a community service policy can assist in recruiting talent to an organization.
Corporate Community Service and Customers
Now more than ever before, customers have practically unlimited access to goods and services around the globe. However, customers take notice when a company shows dedication to their community and corporate social responsibility. Jeffrey Scott Bartel emphasizes that a company’s ethics and community involvement are beginning to become determinants in which brands a consumer ultimately chooses.
A recent study spanning 47,000 consumers across 15 markets discovered that consumers’ willingness to recommend, purchase from, work for, and invest in a company is driven 60 percent by their perceptions of the company, and just 40 percent by their perceptions of the products. In fact, a consumer’s perception relies heavily on a company’s presented citizenship, workplace, and governance. Consumers would prefer to purchase from companies they believe are socially responsible, thus making them feel responsible as a result.
Corporate Community Service and the Community
Corporate community service gives back to local organizations in a big way. Not only does the act of community service amplify the awareness, funds, or reach of an organization, but it also impacts the location as a whole. Corporate community service can ultimately make the area a better place to live and work. Similarly, a company that displays organizational values through their actions establishes a positive brand within the community.
Corporate Community Service and the Company
Satisfied employees, foundational customers, and a supportive community are all benefits of a corporate community service policy. However, the company implementing the policy is likely the most prominent community service beneficiary. The company that adheres to their social responsibility reaps plenty of rewards in terms of employee loyalty and steady sales and is also more likely to be recognized for their efforts.
Consider Salesforce cloud-based software company. Founded by Marc Benioff in 2001, Salesforce has committed to donating 1 percent of company earnings, 1 percent of products, and 1 percent of employee time to charitable causes for nearly 20 years. Their socially responsible model scored Salesforce the third spot on Fortune’s 50 Best Workplaces for Giving Back list in 2016. Plus, a massive 97 percent of employees say they’re pleased with the way the company gives back and are proud to say they work there. In other words, their corporate community service program is a win-win all around.
Becoming Involved in Corporate Community Service
The time is now to implement a corporate community service policy. From your employees to your customers, and your entire community, everyone is a community service beneficiary.