5 Ways to Give Back (That Won’t Break the Bank)

By Jill Maruca
Community Engagement Coordinator
CopperPoint Insurance Companies

Giving back to the communities we serve is an integral part of the CopperPoint culture. We believe our focused philanthropy is an investment in Arizona and its future.

It’s not always about having the biggest budget. In fact, much of our award-winning program is built on donating our employees’ time, talents and resources. We’re a mid-size company in the Phoenix landscape, but our 320 employees give thousands of hours of volunteer time in Arizona communities at more than 100 nonprofit organizations annually.

Research shows that employees are more engaged when the company they work for is community-minded. Volunteerism boosts morale, makes you feel good about where you work, and sometimes it’s just plain fun to walk a 5K, stuff backpacks with school supplies or serve dinner to the homeless.

So, if you’re ready to do more, here are five sure-fire ideas to enhance your community outreach without breaking the bank!

1. Narrow your focus — The first step to developing a solid community relations program is to recognize that you can’t do it all. Find a focus or two and begin there. It’s much easier to start small and grow your outreach over time.

2. Solicit employee feedback – Find out what your employees genuinely care about. We have an Employee Engagement Council to bring recommendations forward on organizations employees are interested in. Your employees will become more involved in causes they are passionate about.

3. Offer a variety of opportunities – Not everyone will participate in everything, and that’s okay. If you offer a variety of opportunities to become involved, you’re able to connect with someone every time. An avid book reader will likely support the book drive; a working mom may support the children’s clothing drive; animal lovers will support the pet food drive, and so on.

4. Host a volunteer fair – This is a great way to get to know non-profits in your community. Invite 10 to 12 organizations onto your campus and set up an informal meet-and-greet in your cafeteria or conference room. Employees will appreciate the interaction and it’s a great way to spark employee volunteerism.

5. Connect with senior management – Leadership support of your community relations program is essential as this buy-in helps set direction. When senior management prioritizes giving back it becomes engrained in the company culture. One easy way to do this is to get your managers (executive level to mid-manager) involved in Board of Director positions. In fact, CopperPoint has 54 leaders and managers serving on a variety of boards across the state.

A great resource for companies who are looking to do more is the Central Arizona Corporate Volunteer Council (CACVC). As a member and CVC secretary, I see first-hand the sharing of best practices and ideas on how to address community needs through workplace volunteering. I encourage any company looking to jump start their employee volunteerism to come join us at one of our monthly meetings.

I’ll see you in the community!

Jill Maruca is the Community Engagement Coordinator for CopperPoint’s award-winning corporate philanthropy program. For more information on CopperPoint in the community, read CopperPoint’s 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report.

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