Those of you who read our blog regularly know that giving back to the community is central to what GFM is all about. While our community outreach takes many forms, including providing pro bono PR support to our nonprofit partner SafeHouse Denver, offering a discounted rate to other nonprofit clients, and our Get Grounded volunteer program, last week it took the form of a team volunteer day at Food Bank of the Rockies.
Twice a year – generally in the spring and fall – we take time as a team to step away from our computers and complete a community service project. Earlier this year, we spent an afternoon with the kiddos in Colfax Community Network’s after school program. Last Tuesday, we spent the morning at Food Bank of the Rockies, filling boxes with food for the USDA Commodity Supplemental Food Program, a program that targets low-income pregnant and postpartum women, their infants and children, and seniors. At the end of our two-hour shift, we had built and packed more than 300 boxes of food. We also collectively donated more than $300 to another Food Bank program, Totes of Hope, through which kids in need receive totes filled with 8 – 9 pounds of nutritious kid-friendly food on Fridays to help carry them through the weekend. It felt great knowing that we’d been able to contribute to such worthy causes, and it was a lot of fun spending time together away from the office. And, as Kimmie Greene wrote last week, being able to work together in the community is a great source of inspiration for our team!
Interestingly, our volunteer day also coincided with another project last week that involved our surveying our team about their community involvement on an individual basis. It turns out that we collectively sit on boards and/or committees of 32 different nonprofit organizations! And that’s boards or committees – it doesn’t factor in the number of organizations we simply volunteer for.
The thing is, we do these things in our community not for the bragging rights – but because we truly do believe it’s important to give back. And we counsel our clients to do the same. The funny part is that giving back does end up benefitting companies in the end – whether that’s their primary objective or not. For one thing, involvement by your employees on boards, etc., is simply an excellent networking strategy. And on a customer level, multiple studies have shown that consumers are increasingly likely to purchase brands that contribute to a worthy cause. In fact, according to 2012 research available via Cause Marketing Forum, 47% of consumers have bought a brand at least monthly that supports a cause, representing a 47% increase from 2010.
So, in the spirit of strong community relations, what causes do you and your company support? And how are you involved in the community? We’d love to hear from you!