The Importance of Community Investment
There is a plethora of responsibilities a business has to manage at any given time, from routine day-to-day operations to budgets to client meetings and balancing deadlines, but community investment shouldn’t fall by the wayside.
Community investment goes beyond goodwill; it means a business recognizes its responsibility to people and society. Recognizing this responsibility means a business uses its resources and influence to impact the community in positive ways.
Where to start
What’s good for a community is often good for business, and if a company can recognize its role within a community as an employer and service provider, citizens stand to benefit. Consumers also do more research into businesses they support, and strong community investment can often contribute to growing your customer/client base.
Of course, the best kind of investment comes from a genuine desire to help others rather than focusing strictly on business gains. Research community organizations that align with your company’s values and could stand to benefit from your involvement, be that in the form of staff doing weekly volunteering, assisting in the development of new programming, mentorship or regular donations—financial, supplies or even pro bono services
Employee Morale and Retention
Beyond benefiting local organizations, community investment has been shown to boost employee engagement and retention—particularly if they are able to make meaningful contributions to an organization that resonates with them. People want to work for companies that have a strong reputation in the community, and investing in that community will make strides in establishing that. The ability to volunteer within the community also opens avenues for employees to take on leadership opportunities and develop skills that will improve their performance in the workplace.
Strong Community Relationships
The development of a business and relationship development go hand in hand, and community investment ensures that your company is building and maintaining strong partnerships. Community investment provides endless opportunities for networking and encouraging other businesses to get involved, which only further benefits organizations in the community that need assistance most.
Investing in the community can also help build more personalized relationships with your client base. For example, if your company volunteers with a local charity you can host events and invite your clients to participate. This allows you to interact with them on a more personal level and strengthen your relationship outside the office.
Community investment is a key way to foster inclusivity. Anything that can be done to benefit a community is a step towards building an inclusive economy in which all demographics stand to benefit. Inclusive community investment initiatives can assist in supporting economic independence, fostering entrepreneurship and small business development, for example, all of which will help strengthen the local economy and create opportunities within the community.