The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility is not new, but it is one that seems to have gathered momentum over the last few years. And now there seems to be even more enthusiasm for the idea as we go forward.
Major corporations have long been in the cross hairs of nonprofit organizations targeting large companies with deep pockets for philanthropic giving. In the current economic climate, those "major givers" are focusing more on volunteerism and less on cash contributions - and subsequently the need for nonprofits to nurture corporate connections has trickled down to the middle market and has spread beyond companies to include professional service firms as well.
The benefits to everyone involved are countless. With this in mind, I would like to share a recent experience at my firm and urge you to consider something similar at yours, if you are not already doing so.
Sobel & Co. closed on August 8, 2013 so that all of our employees could participate in our annual In-Service Day. Each year our summer interns assume responsibility for identifying a local nonprofit and then facilitating internal fund raising for the organization and arranging a community service component for the day as well. For 2013 we teamed up with Jersey Cares, a nonprofit that has a strong presence along the Jersey shore matching up volunteers with critical clean-up projects in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
This fit perfectly with one of our firm's core values: "Caring About Our People and Our Community." Everyone wore shirts displaying this mantra as we spent the day clearing a nearly two mile path along the beach front in Sea Bright. Neighbors came out to thank us, a woman baked cookies and brought them over, people driving by honked their horns in support of our efforts and every biker, jogger, dog walker and even moms with kids in strollers stopped to thank us for making such a difference in helping them return to their daily routines.
Our internal fund raising netted $6000 for Jersey Cares and the day of "hard labor" gave us some insight into the challenges left by the hurricane. This was a day that fostered new pride in our firm and enabled Sea Bright to reclaim some of its most cherished property. It was win-win.
Find something you can do in your community and agree to make a difference. It is worth the investment of your resources and your time!