We’re no strangers to community service. In fact, we’ve made community service and outreach a pillar of our company culture – and for us, that starts at the top. Our leadership team is heavily invested in positively impacting the community through a partnership with Good Shepherd Ministries (GSM). If you’re looking to have a larger community impact as a fellow small business, we hope that these key tips help you find inspiration and do what you can with what you have to impact those around you.
- Be inspired by current passions. We got involved with Good Shepherd Ministries after Ken Elrich, Vice President of Solid Blend, served as Vice-Chair for Life Enrichment Center in Dayton. Both GSM and Life Enrichment Center serve the community by fighting the spread of addiction, hunger, and joblessness. GSM works at a more granular level to provide social services to those in recovery and reentry. Ken was able to find ways that Solid Blend could naturally and seamlessly support GSM, including donations of gently used company cars and providing jobs to program participants. Volunteering isn’t, and shouldn’t be, a chore – it should fit right in with how your business operates.
- Leverage your network. Sometimes connecting the dots and making a good introduction is just as helpful as making a donation or giving your time. Nonprofits usually run on nominal budgets and could use the knowledge available in your network. When you become familiar with an organization, you can spot its vulnerabilities, allowing you to make suggestions to friends, family, or colleagues to lend their skillset and help fill those gaps.
- Follow your heart and model the behavior you hope to inspire. The last thing you want to do is place unrealistic expectations on your team to get engaged. Instead, set an example for your team through your actions, and hope that what you do will inspire others to help in whatever capacity they can.
As a bonus, consider inviting various nonprofit organizations from your community to present at your staff meetings and introduce themselves and their mission to your team – you never know who will be inspired to give their time or resources.