Plant the Seeds of Community Giving to Reap the Best Harvest
We’ve all heard that “giving back to the community” is something companies should do. And more companies, big and small, are doing that.
There are some who think they already contribute through their business and property taxes. Fortunately, most businesses don’t think the same. For them, giving back to the community is adding nutrients to the soil of our community.
Time and money are the seeds we plant in our community. They ensure the ground remains fertile for us and our business for years to come.
We often feel we work around the clock as business owners.
The decision to give our time to community organisations must come from a place of passion.
A Community Giving Case Study
Gary Blair is the owner and Chief Engagement Officer of i24 Call Management Solutions.
The company has affected the lives of hundreds of employees and clients for over its 46 years.
Gary’s learned early that a business operates in a symbiotic manner with its community. It isn’t enough to be in business with the people around you, you have to be part of their community as well.
Giving back to the community isn’t just a business strategy to improve your bottom line.
It’s a personal commitment that is amplified with your business resources.
Your contribution has to come from the heart.
If not, your motive will be transparent and you will not only have gained nothing but will have damaged your reputation.
What are the business benefits of giving back to your community?
- Supporting community groups who improve the quality of life of your neighbours earns you respect and a good reputation. You build a reserve of goodwill that can be dipped into.
- Healthier Community
- “The tide raises all boats.” – You make the community a better place to live. A safer, healthier community is a better place to do business.
- Happier Staff
- Not only is it a good feeling to give, it’s also a good feeling to work for a company that gives. Community work, especially if it involves the whole company, is good for morale. It helps the team to understand that “we’re all in this together”. You’re not as likely to feel exploited if you work for a company with a conscious. New Poll Shows Millennials Prefer Companies That Give to Charity
- Better Networking Benefits
- Giving back to the community gets you into the community. Networking and presenting at fundraisers and events get you and your company noticed. The people you meet at these events tend to be other companies that give back to the community also. Companies that come to know you as a businessman who cares about the community he lives in.
Sharing shows you care.
Our passions and interests say more about us than what we present on a business card or an “About Me” page on our website.
Before the age of the internet, it was expected that a business owner or manager would join a local business association.
The associations were a place to shake hands, exchange cards and engage in small talk. Business got to know their neighbours and competitors. Connections were made by sharing common interests
When you leave the office and go out into your community, you’re not leaving your “business brand” behind.
You’re representing your company with every contact you make.
There’s only one “you” – and by extension, only one “your business”.
By merging your business and personal brand, you’re increasing your competitive advantage.
Following is a short list of organisations Gary and i24 Call Management Solutions support.
Art as therapy – The Art for Healing Foundation
Gary Blair is the third generation owner of i24 Call Management Solutions. He’s lived through the fast and furious evolution in the call centre sector. The one constant – besides change, is the company’s commitment to its community.
Gary and his husband, Earl Pinchuk are passionate about art and human rights.
The two passions converge in The Art For Healing Foundation / La Fondation de l’art pour la guérison.
The Art for Healing Foundation inspires smiles in patients and caregivers who spend their days and nights in rehabilitation, cardiac and mental health centres throughout Canada.
Now, for the first time in its 15 year history, the Foundation moved outside of Canada. Gary and Earl travelled to Paris in March to oversee the installation of a work by Michel Goulet at l’hôpital Universitaire Robert-Debré.
Animals are Part of Our Community – The Montreal SPCA
“The greatness of a society and its moral progress can be judged by the way it treats its animals.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Owners of two adorable Westies, the welfare of all animals is a cause very close to Gary’s heart. He is a long-time supporter of the Montreal SPCA. He’s served as a consultant and sponsor for fundraising events like this year’s “Love Under the Stars”.
“The mission of the SPCA is an obvious fit. It speaks to our (i24) core values of Integrity and community involvement.” – Gary Blair
Helping Homeless Youth – Dans La Rue
“My heart is full of hope for these youth. I know very well that there are limits to what I can do. I can’t save them all. But when I think of Lise, Johnny, Daniel, Molly and so many others, I realise that after every dark and difficult night – even the worst ones – there is a new day and a morning filled with hope.” – FatherEmmett Johns
Father Emmet Johns “Pops” founded Le Bon Dieu dans la rue to help homeless youth in Montreal.
With a borrowed $10,000, he bought a used motorhome and took to the streets. He worked long, lonely shifts sometimes from 9 pm to 3 or 4 am.
He was a “hope peddler” when there was very little hope left for the young people who found themselves on the street.
That van now receives over 17,000 visits a year. The organisation also operates an emergency shelter, “The Bunker” for youths 12 to 21. A Day Centre enables youth to access counsellors and family service help.
The organisation also operates an emergency shelter, “The Bunker” for youths 12 to 21.
A Day Centre enables youth to access counsellors and family service help.
“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” ― Albert Pike