By JOHN QUICK
Being woke is moronic. Being a good person is epic.
As the world changes and becomes more and more complex, so does the role of businesses in it. With their ever-growing consumer base and expansive supply chains, businesses are now expected to play an active role in society beyond simply making a profit.
This includes being responsible for their workforce, the environment and the communities they operate in.
There is a growing trend among businesses to give back to their communities through nonprofits and corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. These activities can take many forms, such as donating money to charities or causes, providing pro bono services, or engaging in community development projects.
In Alaska, there is a private oil company that does this well. They gave each of their employees $25,000 to give to the nonprofit of their choice. This empowered each employee to think through their giving. There was no match or strings attached. They could give it all to their church or to 100 different nonprofits; it was up to each employee to spend it as they saw best.
There are many reasons why businesses should get involved in nonprofits in the communities they do business in. It can be a way to improve employee morale and engagement.
Companies can create a sense of purpose and belonging in their workforce by allowing employees to use their skills and talents for good causes. When done correctly, philanthropy and nonprofit work can make a company not only do good but look good in the eyes of the public.
However, companies and their staff should not do philanthropy to solely look good. They must first consider whether they have any genuine interest in the cause they wish to support. If they don’t have any real passion for the issue, it will be challenging to implement and ineffective.
In addition, if a company wants to engage with nonprofits and other charitable organizations, they need to ensure that they understand what these groups do. Many people assume that all nonprofit organizations provide aid to those who cannot afford it. However, this is far from true.
For example, some nonprofits focus on environmental issues, while others may improve education standards in your community. To avoid falling into traps like this, it is essential to research various organizations and find out precisely what they do.
Posting on social media about joining causes can fall on deaf ears, especially if your own company has never worked on the causes they are posting on social about.
Showing up, rolling up your sleeves, putting in some hours at a soup kitchen, or painting a battered women’s shelter is what we need more of. Less talk, more action.
Less judging people from your WOKE soapbox, more humility, less fake inclusiveness, and more empathy. Stop talking about what everyone else should do and go do it yourself.
There is much benefit to donating time, talent, and money to aid nonprofits in the communities they serve. Here are practical things a company could partner with a nonprofit to do.
This includes: First and Second Amendment rights advocacy (NRA), helping plant a community garden, creating a breakfast program for kids who go to school without eating a meal, making sure kids have the books and supplies they need to be successful in school and putting on workshop showing adults and kids how to balance a checkbook.
You could also help out in these areas: if there is a disaster in your community, showing up and helping clean up and rebuild without wanting any recognition or award, creating a microloan program for adults and kids to test out their business ideas, stopping into a local nonprofit and just ask them, “What do you need help with?”
Another simple thing anyone can do is this, cleaning up lakes, rivers, and ponds that are full of trash and cleaning up historical areas in your community.
And at the same time, the corporate culture also benefits through this because: The business gets to know about different cultures and communities, it builds relationships with nonprofits and other stakeholders, it promotes its brand and products (if they can add value to people), and it can increase its reputation and can attract new clients and partners.
Here are some benefits to being a businessperson that gives their time, talent, and/or money. It helps your community, and that’s all you really need to know!
Even though that is the most significant benefit, there are still others that can be: It helps you become more self-aware. It can also provide you with a sense of belonging, which almost everyone longs for.
Volunteering enables you to feel connected to something bigger than yourself. It gives you a chance to explore your interests. You will find out what you enjoy doing and what you would like to pursue when you are doing something outside of your comfort zone.
It can also enhance your leadership abilities. Leadership requires people skills, and volunteer experience will teach you how to interact with others effectively. Volunteering builds confidence. This work allows you to prove yourself and boost your self-esteem.
If you own a business or run a business, think of the impact you can have if, instead of posting the next cool hashtag or image filter to support a nonprofit on social, you had your staff help build and take care of a community garden with people who actually lived in the community your business is in.
Doing good needs to move away from posting cool things on social media and toward helping actual people with the everyday needs in their life. Do not worry about trying to convince everyone on social media to do this; just go do it.
Being Woke is moronic. Being a GOOD person is epic.
John Quick is Vice President of business for Must Read Alaska. One of his many super powers is to help your business discover how to best use social media and technology to connect with customers, drive traffic, tell your authentic story and increase sales. He’s entrepreneur and a former regional director for Samaritan’s Purse and is known as “chief implementor and red tape cutter.”