Giving back is important for the heart of a business
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Last year, one of Numerica’s proudest accomplishments was giving over $1 million to the community through donations, fundraising, and sponsorships in addition to employees volunteering more than 13,500 hours. Numerica’s commitment to help our community live well is built into everything we do. Giving back and helping others is not only important for the heart of a business, it also makes good business sense. Over the last six years, Numerica has grown our membership by 54 percent and increased assets by 70 percent. We’ve been able to strengthen partnerships with community organizations while developing new ones. Our growth has also resulted in hiring more staff, many of which are attracted to our culture and community involvement, and that in turn allows for even more opportunities to volunteer and give back. I am often asked how Numerica prioritizes and strategizes where we give support. It can definitely be overwhelming when there are so many worthy causes! In order to make the greatest impact and truly support our community’s needs, Numerica has developed the following guiding principles that you could use to help shape your charitable giving program.
- Create a social vision. Integrate your company’s culture into your plan. Numerica is dedicated to enhancing lives, fulfilling dreams and building communities. We accomplish this by lending a helping hand, creating leaders and celebrating our community.
Use your social vision to help guide your decisions when requests come in. The simple fact is, you can’t say yes to everything. It is important to remember that as a business you must prioritize and strategize on what is going to have the best impact on your company, employees and the community. Does the partnership align with your core giving? Does it help reach potential customers? Does it fit your brand? These are hard but necessary questions to ensure a partnership that will be beneficial for both the non-profit and your business.
- Figure out how you can give. How much a company can give is as unique as the organization itself. There is no easy formula to share; it is different for every business. To get started, figure out what you are currently giving in terms of sponsorships, marketing-supported events, in-kind contributions, and volunteering across all departments and functions of your business. Give your goals (areas of giving, volunteer hours, etc.) defined metrics in three major categories:
Corporate Giving. These are strategic spending decisions that align community needs with your organization’s focus. Numerica focuses on fostering education, supporting women and children, and ending generational poverty. Our staff and members are passionate about responding to these needs in our community. Numerica’s loyal membership has helped to build a strong foundation of support, inspiring us to give back at least four percent of our earnings to our community.
Employee-Led Giving. Giving is built into the culture at Numerica. An employee-led team works together to create volunteer opportunities, coordinate collection drives and oversee beneficiaries of our Casual for a Cause program. Employees also coordinate and execute a staff auction that raised over $15,000 last year.
Volunteering/In-Kind Contributions. The credit union’s goal is to volunteer more than 10,000 hours per year. This is an ambitious goal, but we’ve been able to meet or exceed the goal since we started. Staff can volunteer individually or together for causes that are close to their heart or that are set up through the credit union. There is no cookie cutter way to give; it will be different depending on your employees and their interests. For your business, this might translate as team-building activities conducted at non-profits, such as sorting food at Second Harvest. When a team accomplishes goals that benefit others, it brings them together as a more effective unit.
- Find a partnership. Numerica partners with organizations that provide a real impact on our community. You’ll often see us align our lively and fun brand with events and organizations that embody a sense of living well. We look for partners to help champion community resources and causes, not just to underwrite an event. We value the relationship, the touch points that build a collaboration and results that show the value of giving funds, time, and talent. For this reason, Numerica is ‘all in.’ From supporting annual events to showing up with a team of volunteers – we truly want to be a partner in their efforts.
You can measure the quality of a community by the way in which we take care of those in need. Most people want to make a difference. As an employer, you can harness that energy, bringing businesses, non-profits and customers together to make life better where we live, work and play.