‘Tis the Season for Social Responsibility

It’s the time of year when many organizations are faced with numerous opportunities to get involved and ramp up their contributions to community efforts in our local region. There are many needs in the Northeast Ohio community especially given the economic effects on our local non-profit organizations. If your organization is looking to become more involved in the community, below are some common practices used by the best places to work in Northeast Ohio:

Most Common Practices

  • Monetary donations to local non-profit organizations and causes; matching of employee donations
  • Sponsorship of programs, fundraising, and other charitable events
  • Donations of products
  • Non-compensated services to the community, particularly used by organizations in the service sector
  • Community efforts and activities; holding community days
  • Non-profit board participation

Program/Policy Considerations

When instituting a program or policy for your organization’s social responsibility or community involvement practices, it’s important to keep in mind several key issues including level of contribution or participation, costs incurred by your organization, person(s) or department(s) responsible for administering practice, definition of community organization/effort deemed appropriate for the program or policy, administrative or approval processes, and any leave you wish to provide to your employees. Specifically, when developing your practices related to community involvement, here are some important considerations

Community Practice Policy/Program Considerations
Monetary donations/contributions
  • Level of annual monetary contribution/match (dollar amount of percentage or profit)
  • Level of per individual contribution/match (set dollar amount or percentage, maximum contribution within a specific timeframe)
  • Community organizations or events eligible for matching/contribution
Sponsorships 
  • Costs and participation responsibilities of sponsorship
  • Organizations or events eligible for sponsorship
  • PR or marketing issues, considerations, or benefits surrounding sponsorship
Product donation
  • Types and amount of products that will be donated (current or dated items)
  • Frequency in which products will be donated
  • Eligibility criterion for receiving donated products
  • Costs of shipping, receiving, and other expenses
Community service leave/time off
  • Number of days or hours employees may use to participate in community efforts
  • Definition of acceptable community service and/or community organizations
  • Types and level of non-compensated services eligible to be provided to community (if applicable)
  • Approval, administration, or record-keeping process and/or procedure
Community efforts/activities
  • Person(s) or department(s) responsible for coordinating community efforts/activities
  • Types of efforts/activities in which the organization will participate
  • Eligibility for participation (organization-wide, leadership, or specific segment of workforce)
Non-profit board participation
  • Organizational support for board participation
  • Internal approval requirements
  • Board representation guidelines

Link to Top Performer Attraction & Retention

Many top performers are attracted to organizations that are socially responsible and involved in their communities. In fact, top performers reveal that it’s important that their organizations support the community, be responsible members of the community, care about others, be involved in community outreach, and display corporate citizenship. Some organizations even capitalize on their community efforts to brand and market employment to prospective applicants or pursue community involvement awards (40%) as referenced in the most recent ERC/Smart Business Workplace Practices Survey.

If your organization is interested in getting involved in the local Northeast Ohio community, there are a broad range of opportunities available. Some most common activities local organizations are involved with, per data collected in ERC’s NorthCoast 99 Program, include the following:

  • United Way Campaign
  • Harvest for Hunger
  • Adopt-a-Family
  • March of Dimes
  • Scholarship Programs
  • Tutoring/Mentoring Students
  • Food, Clothing, and Blood Drives

Stay tuned next week for a list of Non-Profit Organizations that you can support in Northeast Ohio…

Additional Resources

  • HR Help Desk: For benchmark information and sample policies and practices in regards to developing programs or policies related to community involvement or social responsibility, please contact hrhelp@ercnet.org.
  • Surveys: Benchmark social responsibility and community involvement practices by using ERC’s survey information.
  • NorthCoast 99: If your organization has social responsibility practices in place and strives to attract and retain top performers in unique and compelling ways, check out the NorthCoast 99 award which will provide you with even greater leverage in branding your organization as a great place to work for top talent.
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One Response to ‘Tis the Season for Social Responsibility

  1. Pingback: Ways to Get Involved in Northeast Ohio « Where Great Workplaces Start

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