Like individuals, both large and small companies are getting in on the volunteering act. Small businesses especially look at donating or volunteering as an important way to give back to the community that helped make them successful. According to a Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, while most small business owners believe they are helping their communities more than their own businesses, they acknowledge that by getting involved and encouraging their employees to get involved they increase the visibility and reputation of their company.
Many companies are active with Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit organization that builds simple, affordable houses to low-income families. Since 1986, the Cincinnati chapter of Habitat for Humanity International has built 186 homes. Several Cincinnati companies make donations to the organizations and several also offer support by designating days for their employees to volunteer to help build the houses. Check with your employer to see if they offer this opportunity, or take initiative and take some steps to get your co-workers involved! It’s a fun way to get to see your co-workers out of the office and do some good at the same time.
Northern Kentucky has developed its own plan of improving the region. Developed by the citizens of Northern Kentucky, Vision 2015 is a plan to increase jobs and improve education, which will in turn add more culture and prosperity to the region. Part of that effort is NKyHelps.org. This Web site lists charity events and volunteering opportunities, as well as organizations in need of donations and a place for you to share your photos and stories related to your charity work. Several Northern Kentucky companies teamed up to develop the Web site, including The Kentucky Enquirer, NKy.com, Legacy, The Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky University, Children, Inc., Von Lehman Company, Gateway Community and Technical College and Remke Markets.
Some of the events the Web site lists include the Business Golf Classic at 8 a.m. July 7 at Maketewah Country Club on Reading Road. Proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky African American Chamber of Commerce.
Another event is the Bad to the Bone Bluesfest at 2 p.m. July 19 in Union, Ky. There will be a petting zoo, shopping and historic building tours to benefit the Northern Kentucky Women’s Crisis Center.
More and more companies are realizing the perks of donating time or money to a charity benefit more than their bottom line at tax time. Talk to your employer to find out if they are involved with anything local. If they are not, volunteer to get the ball rolling!