Does the word legacy conjure visions of billionaires with large foundations or bring to mind the eulogies of famous people? Often when we think of legacy, we think of money or property passed down upon someone’s death. Your business may not be large enough to have a formal philanthropy program. Yet, each of us has the capacity to give in small ways which leaves a legacy in the hearts and minds of our communities, our families, and the world at large. Don’t wait until you die to build a legacy. In fact, creating a legacy now is not only beneficial for your community, it benefits your well-being and your business.
For a small business, volunteering in your community is an opportunity to bring your core values to life! Certainly, there is no shortage of local causes which would appreciate your check. Most schools and town halls have a list of ways you can sponsor non-profits. Trade and newspapers often list large events and organizations in need of sponsors.
But, your contribution doesn’t have to be financial. There are many ways to begin legacy that won’t cost you anything but time and effort. Perhaps you’re not ready to adopt a specific cause for your business but you want to help the community. How about allowing your employees to choose their own cause and providing paid volunteer days? Organizations such as volunteermatch.org and createthegood.org provide online communities, training and resources designed to match individual and business volunteers with the organizations needing help.
It’s good for your heart!
The great social philosopher Bob Hope once said, “If you haven’t got any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.” Starting a legacy of giving alone may not heal real heart disease but the physical and psychological benefits of giving have been increasingly documented. According to the Cleveland Clinic, studies have documented a link between giving and the following health benefits: lower blood pressure, increased self-esteem, less depression, lower stress levels, longer life, and greater happiness.
Ultimately, building a living legacy is good for business! The benefits are generated both internally and externally. Internally, employees working together on community projects feel an increased sense of loyalty and dedication to their employers. Allowing your staff time for volunteering provides valuable team-building opportunities. Working on volunteer projects gives employees an opportunity to build relationships within and across organizational lines translating to improved teamwork and performance on internal projects.
Connecting with your customers in the community is an opportunity not only for positive public relations but for strengthening brand loyalty among existing customers. Customers increasingly prefer to do business with companies who give back to worthy causes. Connecting to your community via service projects can also generate new prospective customers.
It is worth repeating the fact that giving is good for your personal well-being. A healthy team of people has more positive energy to invest in creative problem-solving and innovation which ultimately translates to the bottom line!
Small Steps to a Better than Ever Business…
Take a look at your core business values. What immediately strikes you when you review your mission as a way to bring your values to life? Or browse one of the volunteer matching websites for ideas. Start a list of ideas and ask your stakeholders to help you generate some ideas. If your heart is already speaking to you, make the contact and begin the process of volunteering.
Garr Barr Group provides the coaching support you need to put true balance in your life while creating a “Better Than Ever Business.” Give us a call today!