At your service: giving back as a company

At your service: giving back as a company

Community service has always been a priority in my life. Since I was in school, I’ve been involved in some sort of organization that allowed me to give back to my community. So when I was weighing job offers between two companies, one of the influential factors that decided my fate with Quill.com was the benefit of having a paid day off to volunteer with the company. The idea that I would work for a company that cares about their employees and their community was a huge selling point for me.

After I started, I learned that we had a community service board called the Quill Soul Board that planned quarterly events for employees to spend a day serving the local area. I was immediately excited to get involved with the board and quickly accepted an offer to join when a spot opened up.

Since becoming an active member on the board, I’ve learned that we do so much more. We’ve helped at the Illinois Food Bank, worked at animal shelters, ran a booth at a camp for children with burn injuries, and taught lessons at a local school on Earth Day. We’ve also held fundraisers and raffles to raise money for various organizations including One Hope United, City of Hope and the American Cancer Society. And this year we hosted a Take Your Child to Work Day and a Bring Your Dog to Work Day with participation fees going to relevant charitable organizations. Being on the board provides a rewarding experience for me and is one of the many reasons why I love working at Quill.com.

Happy Employees, Happy Company

Companies should consider giving back to their communities not only because it’s a great thing to do, but also because it can really enhance your business, engage employees and appeal to prospective employees. According to an article at truist.com, when you offer employees an outlet to give back to the community through the workplace, their commitment to their company strengthens and their engagement increases. Employees become engaged in their company because they are grateful for all it does to help the surrounding area, and they are proud to be part of an organization that does such great work within the community. Plus, offering a paid day off for volunteer work is a relatively inexpensive benefit to offer employees.

The Benefits

Not only do employees benefit, but so does your company.  When we have our volunteer days, we sometimes give away our products and always wear our Quill.com t-shirts, so it is an easy and inexpensive way for us to market and promote our organization in a positive light. Not only do we build brand recognition in the facilities where we volunteer, but we also create a name for ourselves in the community. Potential customers might want to do business with your company because they see that you are more than a bottom line and have a heart as well.

Getting Started

First things first. Don’t worry about how much it’s going to cost to serve your community. Giving back doesn’t always have to take the form of donations, and most of our donations tend to come from employees when we host our fundraisers. Most often we volunteer our time, and supplies are very cheap.

Next, get company leadership on board. Our executive team has been crucial to our efforts, and they have not only given us a budget to work with but also are a great sounding board for ideas. They have helped us approve events at work and tell us what we can pull off within the organization. We also see them getting involved and volunteering their time too, which I love. If you have exec on your side, you are much more likely to have successful events. It also doesn’t hurt to work with your HR department to look into providing an incentive for your employees to volunteer, much like the paid day off to volunteer that our company has.

Once you have the support you need to get started, work on a mission statement that will provide guidance and goals for your board and a reference for those wondering what the board is about. The Quill Soul Board focuses on increasing awareness and participation of Quill.com and its associates in community activities with a focus on disease prevention, education and the needs of our local community. We try to meet one of these criteria when selecting our days of service and other fundraising and community activities.

Lastly, try to get those in various departments of the company to get involved. By having different areas of the company on the board, your board will not only have a larger reach but also will give those on the board an opportunity to work with others from different departments who they normally may never work with during business hours. These bonds can strengthen and create a better work environment for your employees and possibly your business when employees on the board do business together.

Your Turn

With all the pros there are of serving the community within your organization, why not look into it now? It feels good to give back to the community that supports your business, and the act isn’t entirely selfless. Benefitting your community and your company can easily work hand in hand.

Please share your experiences in the comments below on what your company does to give back or your struggles when starting your own community outreach program!