Your brand identity is an important part of your business model. You can use community service to give back to your local community, help the world or simply set your brand apart and show your customers what you care about most. It feels good to do something positive as a company and as individuals.
About 49 percent of company leaders state that workplace giving is something they see as a possible growth strategy. It’s part of the push to engage employees and promote what they stand for. Giving back allows everyone in the company to feel better about who they are and what they do.
There are many different reasons to get involved and give back. Not only does it help you with your mission, but it also benefits your company. Getting involved in community service leads to better branding in a number of ways.
1. Get Employees Involved
Getting your employees involved in the process allows you to extend the reach of your message. Offer paid time off for those who want to volunteer. This strategy expands your reach in another way in that employees choose which charity they feel is worthy of their time and resources. Instead of efforts being focused only on a single charity, many different organizations can benefit from such a program.
Novo Nordisk is well known for their community service involvement. They offer their employees 10 paid days off per year to volunteer and have other programs to help employees give back to the community. If employees meet offsite for something, they integrate community service into the meeting in some way, such as going and helping at a local charity.
2. Attract Younger Employees
If you want your brand to seem fresh, you’ll want a mix of experience and vision. That means you need to attract younger employees to your company and be open to the ideas and new techniques they bring. Those who have just graduated may have skills older employees don’t have and vice versa.
How does community service tie into this effort? Studies show that millennials prefer working for companies that give back. About 75 percent of millennials state they prefer to work for a company that gives to charity compared to only 59 percent of those between 35 and 44 indicating the same thing. In every generation, people do care about having the opportunity to give back, but younger employees value it the most.
3. Involve Others
What’s really exciting is when you can get other people involved in your campaign outside of those who work for the company. If you find a cause other people believe in, you can get them involved in helping and talking about it. Your employees’ friends and family will come on board alongside you as well as influential members within the community.
LAI Video has taken on the cause of ending childhood hunger. Social media is an excellent way to get the buzz going and generate some excitement. They converted a school bus and hit the road to get people involved in the purpose all across the country. A big part of the campaign includes adding social media posts and sharing videos as they stop in various communities.
4. Improve Brand Perception
In the life of nearly every business, there are missteps. Brand reputation is everything when you’re trying to gain new business. If you have a bit of a reputation and want to improve it, you should know that volunteering can help enhance the way others see you and what you do. It shows that you aren’t totally self-involved but realize there’s a bigger world out there and want to improve it in some small way.
5. Plan Exciting Events
Plan a big event every year to raise money for a charity of your choice and in turn draw some much-needed press and interest in your company. An annual event also allows your employees to come together, work as a team and learn valuable skills that make your company better as a whole. Events naturally attract a lot of attention from the press as well as social media buzz.
NuStar hosts an annual golf tournament to raise money for the homeless. People come from all over to participate in the golf tournament, and it also brings much-needed media attention to both the organization they’re raising money for, Haven of Hope, and to NuStar itself. It’s also an opportunity to get others in the community involved in raising money for Haven of Hope.
6. Attract New Partners
Community service allows you to team up with other companies and build relationships that could one day turn into partnerships. Teaming up for a good cause also enables you to see if your two companies work well together and might want to work together in a more professional capacity.
7. Find Your Niche
It’s important to find the things you believe in and can really get behind. If you aren’t authentic, people will recognize that you aren’t. If you don’t truly believe in a good cause, then don’t put your name behind that cause. Instead, find one or two things you’re truly passionate about and where you feel you can make a mark. Focus on those.
8. Tell the Story
You can devote a ton of time and resources to volunteer work, but if no one ever hears about it, the charity won’t get exposure, and neither will you. You must get your entire team on board with the community service, including your marketing department. Spend some of your time sending out press releases and sharing what you’re doing to help on social media and other networks.
Community Service Helps Everyone
Community service is one of those win-win endeavours. The charity benefits from the additional funding and work you throw their way as a company, and you benefit by getting some exposure for your altruistic efforts. Find something you genuinely believe in, and the rest should come easy.