By Lexie Lu

If you’ve been thinking about launching a program that makes it easy for your employees to contribute to their communities and the world at large, there’s no better time to start. Below, we’ll take an in-depth look at compelling reasons to give back and some businesses that are making substantial impacts. You’ll also receive useful strategies that’ll help you get off to a strong start.

You’re Able to Do Good Things for Others

The primary motivator behind any campaign involving giving back should be that you’re making lives better through your actions. Some of the projects you and your employees complete may directly lead to years of improved existence for people in need.

Deere & Co., a provider of heavy machinery, has recently announced a $1 million donation to Habitat for Humanity International to aid the recovery efforts associated with the recent hurricanes. In addition to the monetary assistance, Deere & Co. has sent some of its equipment to affected areas.

It is also organizing teams of employees in Texas, Florida and the Caribbean and encouraging them to volunteer their time to help people get back on their feet after these natural disasters. Furthermore, the company’s workers have donated more than $100,000 to organizations such as the Red Cross and local food banks, and Deere & Co. has a matching program that doubles the size of those contributions.

If you’re having trouble figuring out how to be most effective through a corporate initiative to give back, try to link what your company does to an unmet or pressing need. Representatives from Deere & Co. realized the brand’s construction equipment could come in handy for rebuilding communities. Perhaps you sell a product or service that’s similarly worthy and fitting.

It Makes Your Company a More Attractive Place to Work

You’ll also likely find that people are more eager to work for your business if they know it offers opportunities to give back. Employees don’t merely want to come to the workplace to earn their paychecks. They also want to get involved in things that are greater than themselves.

A survey conducted by Achieve Consulting Inc. found that millennials are particularly eager to work for companies that make it possible to give back. Specifically, 94 percent of respondents in the millennial-centric poll said they like using their skills to help a cause and 57 percent want a greater number of companywide days of service.

However, even employees who’d love to volunteer may feel like their busy work schedules make it impossible. You can avoid that problem by offering something similar to what people get when they work for Tom’s of Maine, a brand that manufactures personal care products with natural ingredients.

The company’s workers can use up to 5 percent of their paid time at work to volunteer for the nonprofit organization of their choice. In addition to those individual efforts carried out by the workers, Tom’s of Maine has an annual companywide volunteering opportunity. The brand’s website also features employee profiles of people who give back, and that information makes it even more appealing for individuals to help others with their time.

Help Your Employees Enjoy Their Communities

If people love where they live, they’ll probably be happy, productive employees, too. That reality is a major reason why a campaign to give back could enhance your company at large and cause long-lasting effects.

Nolan Painting, the largest family-owned residential painting company in southeastern Pennsylvania, has the right idea with its Nolan in the Neighborhood program that gives direct contributions to support regional events. The business will donate $27,000 soon, with an estimated total impact of $1 million this decade.

One of the reasons the Nolan Painting program is notable is that it helps people live better lives by becoming increasingly immersed in positive, community-based gatherings. Additionally, the funds go toward causes that are obviously beneficial. A suicide prevention walk, 5-kilometer run to support dementia patients and events that help kids get and stay active are some examples.

The financial support from the company helps these community activities go smoothly. It also raises awareness about important matters in society.

You Can Build Your Brand

Giving back also propels your brand. You’ll instantly get more visibility by having employees wear branded shirts while volunteering or deciding that your company will become a primary sponsor of a charity dinner.

You might even incorporate philanthropy in product packaging. Lush, a popular provider of handmade cosmetics, does that with its Charity Pot, which you can buy in 36 countries. Since 2007, sales of this specially packaged lotion benefit a cause promoted on the lid. There are always numerous charities represented within an assortment of Charity Pots, so people can easily browse through them all and pick which ones speak to them the most.

The prominent design of the Charity Pot container instantly connects Lush with giving back. It also empowers shoppers to feel they’re supporting something that matters while getting a beloved product at the same time.

For best results, make sure your brand-building generosity makes sense. Sponsoring a golf tournament if you’re a sporting-goods brand or getting employees at a fitness center involved in a walk to support multiple sclerosis are good moves.

You Can Network With Other Generosity-Centered Businesses

One great way for your company to maintain a strong presence in the community is to be open to collaborating with other local establishments, especially when giving back. When planning a day of volunteering, a benefit night or anything else for a good cause, brainstorm to come up with other businesses that might want to partner with you to increase the overall impact.

Quick-thinking restaurant owners in Las Vegas did that in response to the recent mass shooting. They used social media platforms to put out calls to other foodservice employees in the area, spurring numerous entities to come together and feed first-responders, emergency room workers, people who waited in lines to donate blood and others who were doing what they could to facilitate progress after the tragedy.

After linking up with other companies that are interested in helping others, the combined knowledge and resources should make you more aware of ways to assist when needed. Also, you’ll feel more able to leap into action and encourage employees to follow suit due to feeling you’re playing an integral part in a coordinated effort and not working alone.

It should be clear from these examples that giving back causes a wide range of benefits for your company and employees, as well as the wider community. Even starting small lets you tap into these advantages and see how seemingly minor but dedicated efforts make significant differences.

Lexie Lu is a freelance graphic designer and blogger. She keeps up with the latest design news and always has some coffee in close proximity. She writes on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

The post When Your Company Gives Back, It Goes a Long Way appeared first on Small Biz Daily.