Giving Compass' Take:

David Disiere shares three ways that businesses can engage in volunteering and philanthropy while highlighting both benefits for the company and the community. 

• How can corporate social responsibility initiatives help employers gain candidates and build a better work environment for current employees?

• Read about the ways companies can activate their CSR missions.

Contributing to your community through philanthropic efforts can do the world and your heart a lot of good. And in many ways, giving back is also good for business.

Large or small, companies play pivotal roles in shaping their communities. There is certainly an economic impact, as dollars spent locally multiply to create ongoing value. Beyond that immediate benefit, research shows that committed businesses that align with local causes end up encouraging additional charitable giving in their communities.Making philanthropy a part of your brand makes good business sense. Almost nine out of 10 consumers say they prefer brands that support causes they believe in. This consideration works both ways, too; 67 percent of consumers will not do business with a company whose values differ from their own.

Becoming a recognized force for good in your community is about more than big monetary donations. Instead of approaching philanthropy as a financial undertaking, put in some sweat equity and explore different options to find the right fit for your business.

  • Sponsor something you believe in. Sponsorships are great for businesses that want to reach broad audiences and grow quickly.
  • Volunteer to share your time and talents. Philanthropy involves more than a checkbook. Look for volunteer opportunities that enable you and your employees to use your talents for a good cause. In addition to building brand recognition, a volunteer program can be an excellent recruiting and retention tool. Millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce, and they have strong opinions about the importance of community service.
  • Get active with your local chamber of commerce. Membership comes with obvious business benefits, including access to strategic resources, networking opportunities, and referrals. But it can also provide opportunities to get involved with key local philanthropic causes and volunteer events.

Read the full article about giving back to your community by David Disiere at Business 2 Community.