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09.20.18

Lessons From the Phone Booth: The Value of a Community-Minded Business

09.20.18
By Shelly Langona

Hello! I’m Shelly Langona, VP and GM, coming to you from the Framery O Phone Booth with a blog series about workplace leadership. In this post, I’m sharing the value behind leading a community-minded business. If you have other ideas on what makes a great leader, tell us on Twitter or Facebook!

Shelly Langona

1. GETTING INVOLVED HELPS GROW YOUR BRAND RECOGNITION & NETWORK

Being community-minded is a great way to grow both your personal brand and your organization’s brand. Building a strong, reputable brand takes time, but by working with different charitable organizations, you dramatically increase your ability to make connections in your market. One day, you will turn around and be shocked by how your network has grown! Every person you meet may show up in another place and time in your life or business — never take it for granted!

When you support philanthropies that are intrinsic to your organizational brand, you’ll meet other leaders that value the same principles you do. People often like to work with like-minded people, so we’ve fostered a lot of great partnerships with companies that support our favorite philanthropic organizations.

2. EMPLOYEES GROW THROUGH COMMUNITY-CENTERED OPPORTUNITIES

At RJE, we believe that employees thrive when they are passionate about the work they do inside and outside of the office. We heavily promote employee involvement with different charity organizations because supporting the communities where they live and work fulfills them and keeps them engaged. To me, a happy employee is one that is fulfilled both personally and professionally. When someone’s life is well-rounded, they become more creative problem-solvers and are more efficient.

3. BEING CHARITABLE IS GOOD FOR THE BOTTOM LINE

Outside of your standard tax write-offs, being charitable is a great choice for your business. Supporting others is never a bad thing! When you do it from the heart and with the right intention, you can feel good about the way you operate as a company.

If you want to contribute to organizations, but aren’t sure how to swing it financially, consider volunteering your time on a board or negotiating an in-kind donation for services or goods. You can also ask the organization to split your contribution over a number of fiscal years, if needed.

SO WHAT DO I DO NOW?

The first step is to create a Philanthropy Plan with your senior leadership team. Leadership support is hugely important when determining what organizations to champion and what funds you can responsibly contribute. Once you make a plan, stick to it! Hold each other accountable to the decisions you’ve made — it will feel good and keep you on track.

HOW DO I DETERMINE WHICH ORGANIZATIONS TO SUPPORT?

There are so many wonderful organizations and opportunities to support in our communities. We get requests all the time and nine times out of ten, they are worthy organizations. However, decisions do have to be made and funds can only go so far. Sit down with your leadership team and determine what aligns best with your company’s key values and brand and then narrow down the list to the few that matter most. You will create the most impact for that organization and yours when you are intentional with your decision and pick a cause that aligns with your brand, people and company goals.

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