If you’ve never read Charles Dickens’s classic A Christmas Carol, bookmark this post, then come back after you’ve read the novel. If you’re not a reader, there are several great movie versions for you to choose from—and no judgement here if you prefer cinema over paper and ink! Now, you’re probably wondering why I’m pointing you toward Christmas movies when we’ve barely gotten into the Halloween season. Well, my point is to try to get you warmed up for the charity season, which typically begins in October. Specifically, I want to discuss businesses giving back.
So, once you’ve taken the time to witness old Ebenezer Scrooge have a major heart transformation, you’ll be able to make the connection between the tale and this post. In the meantime, here are some cool ways we are seeing businesses giving back in modern days.
Common Ways of Giving Back
Now, there are many ways a business can engage in giving back. In fact, the ways are similar to how individuals participate in giving. So, start by thinking about the ways you give back within your community. Perhaps you give time each week teaching Sunday school. Or, maybe you participate in the annual coat drive by cleaning out your family’s closets and donating outerwear that no longer fits. Chances are you also give cash donations at some point throughout the year. You’ll probably notice you give more often than you even realize!
Along the same lines, here are some common ways you’ll see businesses giving back.
Fundraising is a common way businesses give back throughout the year. Many businesses choose to partner with organizations such as United Way. United Way is a nonprofit who focuses on local communities around them. They allow donors to choose how they would like their funds dispersed. Or, donors can allow United Way to use the funds where they are most needed. Besides United Way, there are many organizations ready and willing to partner with businesses in order to raise money to help those in need.
While fundraising can be a big part of businesses giving back, that’s only the half of it– literally! Many companies take fundraising a step further by matching gifts made by their employees. Take employee contributions to United Way, for example. Some companies will match those contributions dollar-for-dollar up to a certain point. Businesses will often recognize employees who reach certain markers of giving. Furthermore, matching gifts strengthens the impact of the employees’ donations.
When I think of giving time, Habitat for Humanity instantly comes to mind. There are few better ways to build morale and comradery than strapping on the old tool belt and heading out to build a house. Well, that is a common sentiment among many corporations. Employees donate their time and skills to help put roofs over people’s heads, which is the company’s way of giving back.
If you have never given shoes to a Soles for Souls shoe drive, then you haven’t lived! In all seriousness, Soles for Souls is a great example of businesses giving back through an incredible drive by giving all shoes a new home. It doesn’t matter if the shoes are brand new, gently used, or well worn. In fact, Soles for Souls will even accept donations for shoes that are missing a match!
Businesses Giving Back in Thoughtful Ways
In 2015, Walmart pledged a $10.9 million grant, with the purpose of implementing retail career services at nonprofit workforce organizations. This means, their way of giving back would not only help people find jobs, but also potentially land those job seekers right back in Walmart’s candidate pool for employment.
Wells Fargo is well known for doing their part to help vulnerable populations around the United States. In fact, this year alone they have pledged $175 million to provide support for issues related to the impact of COVID-19. Even before COVID, however, Wells Fargo made a name for themselves by giving mortgage-free homes to wounded veterans and their families who had experienced catastrophic life events as a result of their military service.
Although many are quick to point out the environmental harm of oil extraction, Chevron does their best to offset the negative. As their way of giving back to communities where they operate, Chevron focuses on economic development for Latin American women. Additionally, they fund treatment for HIV/AIDS in African countries where they drill.
I can’t talk about giving back without mentioning the ways we proudly support our community. Although our organization is not a as big as the aforementioned industry giants, our heart for people could not be bigger. Journey Payroll & HR supports not one, not two, but at least 22 nonprofits over the course of the year! We are always looking for creative opportunities to show we care. When coronavirus first struck our nation, we encouraged our employees to support local businesses, and then we reimbursed them for their support. Giving back is part of our culture, and we know that we wouldn’t be what we are today without the support of the local communities where we operate.
Giving Back in Your Workplace
As you can see, it isn’t necessary to read or watch A Christmas Carol in order to get into the giving spirit. There are always ways year-round for businesses giving back. Whether you are like Walmart hitting two birds with one giving stone, or Wells Fargo going big by providing homes to wounded warriors, your business can make giving a regular part of what you do. If you haven’t already, consider devising your own plan for giving back. Be creative! Don’t be afraid to make it your own and do what you’re good at. Most importantly, know that giving back is as much a spirit as an action. Once that flame is ignited in you, others will see it and will want to do the very thing that makes you glow.