Corporate volunteerism is a valuable and vital aspect of community service.  The resources developed and provided by businesses, both local and global, can be essential to the survival of many nonprofit agencies.  In exchange for the enormous aid that they can provide, businesses and business owners can reap many benefits from their institutionalized community service.

            Through public partnerships with local community groups, businesses can improve the quality of the local work-force. Non-profit agencies address many of the essential needs of a community, from housing to education to job placement.  However, these non-profit agencies often require financial support from the local business community in order to maintain their works.  In exchange for partnering with these agencies, businesses will be supporting and developing the citizens of their community, who can then become employed by these businesses.  

            This kind of public support also engenders a loyalty between citizens and businesses who provide support to community service organizations.  By donating and working with charitable organizations, businesses can improve their image amongst potential customers.  Several global companies, such as McDonald's, Target and Microsoft have improved their brand loyalty dramatically through their “social responsibility” programs.1 If local companies followed these companies' philanthropic models on a smaller scale, they may also find an increase in local loyalty.

            Companies can also benefit from providing opportunities for employees to work on community service projects within the framework of the company.  Just as with any public philanthropic donations, taking part in volunteer efforts can promote the public's positive impression of a company.  These events may also increase employee loyalty and appreciation of the business, making them better workers overall.2

           According to the Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Survey: “More than eight in 10 companies (84 percent) believe that volunteerism can help nonprofits accomplish long-term social goals, and are increasingly offering skills-based volunteer opportunities to employees.”3  If more companies were willing and able to follow through with this concept, both the businesses and the communities they serve would prosper.  If you represent a business which would like to support service in the SouthCoast region, please contact SouthCoast Serves. 

 

Citations

1. Neal Santelmann; “Companies That Care;” Forbes Online; September 29, 2004; http://www.forbes.com/2004/09/29/cx_ns_0929feat.html

2. Isabelle Maignan and David A. Ralston; “Corporate Social Responsibility in Europe and the U.S.: Insights from Businesses' Self-Presentations;” Journal of International Business Studies; Vol. 33, No. 3 (3rd Qtr., 2002), pp. 497-514

3. 2010 Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Survey; http://www.deloitte.com/view/en_US/us/About/Community-Involvement/9b2983...