Philanthropy—Does Your Team Walk the Talk?

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Nearly every company out there has at least a mention of philanthropy in their mission statement. Usually it includes something about giving back to the community they serve. It’s almost always vague and non-specific. We imagine this is by design so different teams or communities within the company can decide the most appropriate expression of that philanthropy for them.

At a time of year when every blog post, social media post, and commercial is about gratitude, we wanted to ask… How does your team connect to the company’s mission statement regarding giving back?

Some teams choose financial campaigns as the best way for the most people to participate with arguably the least amount of time commitment. Raising awareness while raising money for local organizations whose work is aligned with the company’s mission can be a great way to have impact.

Some teams opt for group community service as a way to do more than the quick donation. Instead, they get a group of people out there to work a shift in a food pantry, or serve meals in the community, as just a couple of examples. This type of experience often has the benefit of raising awareness of community needs at a different level than a giving campaign. It also tends to be an eye-opening experience for many participants.

Another way teams look to give back is doing philanthropic team building. This type of event has a dual purpose. One purpose is to engage the team in activities which foster better communication and sense of team among the group. The second purpose is to build or assemble items of value to donate to the community. Representation from the organization receiving the donation is normally invited to come to some portion of the event and speak to the group. This gives participants not only a sense of how their donation will impact local people, but also ways for them to individually connect and volunteer with the organization, should they choose to do so.

There are probably many other ways companies choose to engage their local area and give back. The question for you and your team is how will you choose to express your company’s mission and values around philanthropy? It’s all too easy to imagine someone else will rise to the challenge. If you do nothing, are you walking the talk of your organization? How about for your own values? In this season of materialistic consumption with lots of talk of gratitude around, we want to invite you to choose authenticity. Find the way to express your gratitude in action, and then do it. We’d love to hear how it goes!

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