Any company can make a charitable donation to a good cause, but a business that can inspire their employees to give back or volunteer is truly leading by example. Plus, it's an incredibly valuable recruiting tool.
You want to work for a company whose values line up with your own, a company that actually walks the walk when it comes to philanthropy and corporate volunteerism. And while there's nothing wrong with doing your work and collecting your paycheck (we love paychecks for what it's worth), you might feel like your job doesn't totally fulfill you if you're not giving back.
After all, 55% of millennials have said that a company's support for a social cause has influenced their decision to accept a job offer. Additionally, 46% have volunteered for a cause they believe in within the past month, and 52% have made a donation.
Companies are becoming more aware that prospective employees want to find a sense of purpose in their work. And, that not only gives employees a sense of pride, but it keeps those pesky retention levels high.
So, how do you actually go about finding companies that are committed to philanthropy? We've got the tips you need to score a job where you can make a big impact.
This is the easy part. The only way you're going to find out whether the company you want to work for is active in the community is by cracking open your laptop and doing research. And here's the thing—most companies love talking about their commitment to volunteering.
For example, Booking.com, has a fantastic corporate social responsibility program Booking Cares which allows all employees to partner with local organizations on projects that will help improve destinations worldwide. The company also funds grants to startups in sustainable tourism through their Booking Booster program.
And there's nothing like cold, hard facts to paint the picture of just how much impact a company has for perspective employees. So, look for a company that has an impact report that measures just how effective their work is, and one that has a clear set of goals and plans for how to achieve them.
Booking.com shares an Impact Report which tells you how many hours they've spent volunteering, as well as the details of the incredible work they're doing, like giving coding workshops to young girls in Cape Town and planting coral reefs in Sattahip.
Don't be afraid to poke around on a company's social media channels and do some intense Googling. It's easier than ever to sleuth, so start researching—you'll be able to tell which companies really care about helping others in no time.
Don't Be Afraid to Ask
If you've finally scored that all-important interview for your dream job and you're wondering what their stance on corporate volunteerism is, well, don't hesitate to ask. Just because you couldn't find anything about the company's charitable work or volunteer programs on their website, doesn't mean that they're not actively engaged in the community.
Take time to ask the questions that are important to you. Are they involved with any nonprofit organizations? Can your skills be applied to any of the volunteer work they perform in the community? Better yet, does the company offer paid volunteer days?
Paid Volunteer Days might sound like one of the best oxymorons ever, but some companies will give you a day off—and pay you—for volunteering. More and more companies recognize that they have to offer prospective talent top-notch perks, and that means tapping into a workforce that values helping those who are less fortunate. For these companies, it's not just a perk, it's deeply ingrained in the corporate culture of their businesses.
While you shouldn't make the entire interview about volunteerism, you can ask questions about the company's values to determine whether they align with your own. And if they do, the company will be impressed that you took the initiative to pursue your charitable passions.
Get Your Company Onboard
Not all companies are going to have their volunteerism act together. And that's OK! It just means you have the opportunity to make an even greater impact on the company you're already working for, or hoping to.
If there's a charitable organization that you feel would be a perfect fit with your company's values and culture, then you should kickstart your own volunteerism program. The first thing you'll want to do is write up a pitch as you're going to need leadership to buy-in to the program. Once you have leadership on your side, you'll not only want to set realistic goals, but you'll also need to figure out what kind of commitment you can get from your team. Can they volunteer outside of work, or can the company offer paid volunteer hours?
Most importantly, you'll want to find out what your coworkers' expectations are because you want to create a meaningful experience. 97% of employees want to apply their own expertise and work experience to whatever charitable deed they affix themselves to. While there's nothing wrong with a company doing a charitable walk or a 5k, their employees might be less inclined to break a sweat knowing they could instead use their skills to contribute to help a worthy cause.
Beyond the Paycheck
Loads of companies are getting the message that corporate philanthropy and honest-to-goodness volunteering is vitally important when it comes to attracting the best talent in the job market. Not only does it foster employee engagement, it increases retention levels and creates a sense of purpose. Best of all, it inspires us to be our best selves and give back to those who need it most of all.
So, with a little research, straight forward questions, and initiative, you can find a company whose values align with your own.
Photo of people painting wall courtesy of KidStock/Getty Images.
Bill McCool is a freelance writer based out of Los Angeles. When he's not winning over his daughters with the art of the Dad joke, he is usually working on a pilot, watching the Phillies, or cooking an elaborate meal for his wife.More from this Author
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