What’s Your Reason…for starting your business? Perhaps you purchased your business, inherited your business or have worked at length for a local business. But can you explain the original purpose in your businesses’ founding?
Money may be your first reason. However, a new piece of national research proclaims small and medium-size business owners have a number of reasons for starting a business including making a difference in the community.
Do you agree?
Community involvement is championed from the top. Yet, according to Business4Better’s research, this does not always trickle down to drive company-wide engagement. The results also show that half of surveyed mid-sized companies said executive leadership, such as a CEO or owner, leads their Corporate Citizenship efforts.
If we took a survey of hands, no doubt our local businesses would mirror the national poll of those who believe business is about personal connections you have with a cause. The research results also reflect that “many mid-sized companies are still managed by their founders, whose continued presence helps drive their philanthropic passions.”
“Most mid-size companies have a business-with-a-purpose mindset,” said Joshua Dome, general manager of Business4Better, ” We conducted this research to understand the gaps and opportunities, with the ultimate goal of creating action plans for executives trying to infuse social good as part of the way they do business.”
What I found most interesting is their research of businesses that are shifting away from a culture of “checkbook philanthropy”, or the act of supporting causes solely by donating dollars, to what the study cites as meaningful, company-wide engagement.
When asked, nearly 40 percent of surveyed companies provide time off for employees to volunteer, and more than 30 percent perform pro-bono services.
So let’s revisit the original question of “What’s Your Reason?” relevant to business impact.
Approximately 60 percent of mid-size companies utilize their Corporate Citizenship efforts to support education, something near and dear to their employees’ interests. Other popular issue areas include youth services and the environment.
Overall, nationally, 2/3rds of midsize business owners say they are seeking to establish or improve their corporate social responsibility efforts at their business and in the community.
“What’s Your Reason?” If more than a majority of business executives say they feel improving corporate social responsibility can help to increase business performance, drive employee participation and improve brand reputation… then it’s a logical question of “what’s your reason for not exploring Corporate/Business Citizenship at the local level?”
Kristina Jones is the President of Stronger Organizations, LLC and works with companies and nonprofits on their community engagement strategies. Continue the dialogue, connect with her at Facebook.com/StrongerOrganizations.