Recently we highlighted ways that businesses benefit from community engagement and volunteerism, including increased visibility among prospective customers, stronger connections with community influencers, and improved employee satisfaction.
You already may be sold on the benefits of community engagement to your business. But where to begin?
An effective community investment program has three key considerations:
1. what your business cares about and has the resources to do
2. what your employees like to do
3. what the community needs.
Align the community investment program with your company’s business and ideals
Ask yourself: What resources – intellectual, material and financial — do we have that we could share? What are our company values? Which issues do our clients care most about?
Case in point: Comcast is committed to closing the digital divide and connecting low-income Coloradans to the internet. Rooted in this value, Comcast conceived of and launched the Internet Essentials program in 2011 to provide low-cost home internet access, computer equipment and digital literacy training in every community across our service area for eligible individuals.
Involve employees in the development of your community impact program
Ideally, your team has a vested interest in the focus of your community investment and the organizations you support. Consider a survey asking about causes employees are already involved. Get their take on the greatest opportunities for aligning the business’s strengths and the community’s needs.
Case in point: In addition to supporting the company’s broad community investment strategies like Internet Essentials and Comcast Cares Day, Comcast leaders in Colorado serve on a variety of nonprofit boards, which allows them to support additional causes that resonate with them personally.
Ensure your efforts meet a community need
Don’t approach a charity and tell them what you have to offer. Rather, make it a conversation about their needs, your company’s strengths and resources for the task, and then explore together how you can partner for the greatest impact. There’s nothing wrong with a one-day event, but keep your goals in mind. Will a one-day event give your team the sense of community engagement they want? Will it give your business the community presence you want? If not, consider how a one-day project could spark ongoing involvement.
Case in point: Comcast Cares Day is the largest single-day corporate volunteer event in the country – but it’s much more than that to our community partners. Comcast Cares Day is the annual culmination of Comcast’s year-round commitment to our community and the nonprofits that make our communities wonderful places to live, work and do business.
Giving back is at the core of Comcast’s business. Learn more about our Community Impact.