4 min read

Ways your business can give back

Ways your business can give back

There are several compelling reasons for a business to give back to the communities it serves. Giving back can expose your business to potential new customers, build goodwill for your company brand and boost employee engagement and morale, to name a few. Of course, the primary reasons to give back are to help others and make the community stronger.

Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to work with many business clients that are committed to giving back in ways that are authentic and impactful. In that time, I’ve noticed the most successful charitable giving programs:   

  • Align with company values: Whether you’re just launching your company’s efforts to give back or updating your charitable giving program, the most effective way to ensure authenticity is to align your efforts with your company’s mission and core values. For example, if your company values education and development, consider book drives, volunteer reading programs or other efforts that support youth or adult literacy.     
  • Address important community needs: Business leaders understand the best environment in which to grow their company is a strong community. When considering ways to give back, look at the biggest issues facing your community. Christian Brothers Automotive understands how much families rely on dependable transportation to get to work, school and elsewhere. That’s why, on National Day of Service in October, they performed oil changes and basic maintenance on more than 50 cars owned by families facing hardships.
  • Consider employee passions: To keep employees engaged in your efforts, be sure to ask about what’s important to them and find ways to connect your giving to those interests. To accomplish this, survey your team members to learn which organizations or issues are most important to them and then make donations and/or create volunteer opportunities to support those causes. You could also create a program that matches a portion of employee contributions to the nonprofits they support.

Once you’ve created a program that is aligned with your company values, addresses community needs and connects with employee passions, it’s time to act. In my own experience with nonprofit leaders, I often hear them encourage people to give back with their time, talent and treasure. The same applies to support from businesses:

  • Give your time: Volunteering is a great, low-cost way for you and your employees to give back. Many nonprofits post volunteer needs on their websites and, depending on where you live, United Way may provide a one-stop resource for volunteer opportunities across the community. Your organization can choose an ongoing volunteer effort, such as reading to schoolchildren each month, or a once-and-done activity, like a neighborhood cleanup or meal-packing effort.
  • Use your talents: If your employees are highly skilled in a specific trade or profession, consider sharing those talents via in-kind donations of time and/or related supplies. For example, Veranda Dentistry offers free dental care to veterans each Veterans Day.
  • Share your treasure: I feel honored to work at Bankers Trust, which gives nearly $1 million each year to support community organizations. I’m also fortunate to live in Central Iowa, which has many generous businesses and individuals. Whether your organization is donating millions to the local food bank or a few hundred dollars to support an after-school program, your generosity makes our community stronger.

If you’re inspired to start or expand your charitable giving, but still aren’t sure which organizations to support, I encourage you to check out the Bankers Trust Community Difference Makers podcast. It features interviews with leaders of several nonprofits, and it may spark additional ideas for ways you can give back.     

Chad Solberg

Chad Solberg

VP, Business Banking Manager (515) 245-2409 Email Chad

Chad Solberg joined Bankers Trust Company in May 2013 bringing 15 years of banking and finance experience. He currently serves as VP, Business Banking Manager overseeing a team of dedicated business bankers. Prior to joining Bankers Trust, he most recently spent nine years with Wells Fargo as a lender in business banking. Chad was also an examiner with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago for three years.

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