Charitable giving: Good for the corporate soul

Published · 2 min read

‘Tis the season for giving.

At one time, that phrase pertained solely to the holiday season. Not so any longer. Yes, the holidays inspire us to contribute to toy drives, dish out warm meals, and donate to our favorite charities. But charitable organizations are finding that the giving spirit now lasts throughout the year—much of it enabled by corporate employee volunteering and giving programs.

According to America’s Charities in the Forbes article “Employee Giving Is On Fire,” only 24% of companies indicated in 2013 that they offered year-round giving programs. By the end of 2015, that number was up to 60%.

Why the change? The answer is simple: Employees are asking for it.

Today’s workers—including those in construction—expect more than a paycheck. They want to work at companies that give them a sense of purpose and share their passion for giving back. Companies, of all sizes, are recognizing this. Employee volunteering and donation programs are becoming a key component of company cultures and an important way to attract and retain employees.

Construction companies seem to be ahead of the giving-back curve, generously offering their time, expertise, and funding for some time now. An ENR article on corporate giving from 2013 illustrates my point: “In this era of post-recession cost cutting, many construction companies remain committed to their communities,” the article stated. “Instead of pulling back on their charitable funding, firms have amped up community-service programs and refocused their giving strategies to maximize dollars.”

For many construction companies, giving back is just the right thing to do.

But corporate giving can also provide many other benefits. Companies, for example, are finding that it can lead to higher employee engagement. I can certainly see why. Working side-by-side with a colleague to package food, construct a house, plant trees, and lend a helping hand is the ultimate team building exercise. It creates strong comradery that is key to job satisfaction, collaboration, and productivity.

Let’s face it, we all spend a large portion of our days at work. Many of us want to volunteer but find it difficult to find the time. Corporate-sponsored volunteerism makes it easier for employees to make a difference. And that’s good for all involved—employee, company, and our communities.

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