Co-Author: Lauren Brutger
From our very start 8 years ago, we have embarked on a journey of giving back to our local community through both a creative and philanthropic mindset. We have been fortunate to get a chance to work with some incredible organizations. Through our continuous work with United Way, we have been able to recognize generous donors and connect them to their recipients. We have also been fortunate enough to work with the March of Dimes in honoring their donors and creatively promoting their vision. Not only have we been able to express our creative abilities with these organizations and many others, but our eyes have also been opened to the enormous generosity of our neighbors.
More and more businesses like Gaslight are donating their time and services to their local community. But why?
Although charitable acts are not accompanied with monetary rewards, they do come with their own set of priceless benefits. Here are just some benefits of giving back:
- Gain common ground with others – broadening your network
- Differentiate your business – people often have an easier time associating themselves with your business if it is involved with the community
- By actively giving back to various organizations, your community better understands who you are as a company and the values you encompass
- Provide a way for your business to give thanks to the greater community and customer base
- Share expertise – gain knowledge by actively participating in the community with an open mind
- Warm fuzzies – put simply, giving back feels good
Remember that sometimes, it’s the little things that mean the most. Think of what you would like others to do for you when you’re put in certain situations.
How can you give back?
Whether you give change to someone who ran out of time on their parking meter or you spend hours a week at the local food kitchen, every bit helps. Large or small, if you are fulfilling your business, self and/or community through a philanthropic mindset, you are on the right track. Here are just some helpful tips to get you started:
- Pick an organization you are passionate about to support
- Partner with other philanthropic companies
- Volunteer locally as an individual or as a business
- Hold community events or participate in local events
- Give back at what you’re good at – offering your expertise
- Lead by example for others to join you in giving back
- Make social good a part of your company’s culture
- Go Pro Bono when you can
- Provide Incentives to employees (ex. Paying money to wear casual clothes in the workplace and all profit goes to a selected charity)
Here is what some of the Gaslight team said about their experiences giving back:
“I worked at a non-profit before coming to Gaslight, so their drive to give back to the Central Minnesota Community was extremely important to me. I had the opportunity to help with a United Way Pro Bono campaign through Gaslight and it is hard to put into words how inspiring the United Way Staff, Donors, and Recipients were. It’s experiences like these that are truly once in a lifetime.” – Megan Hollenhorst
“We give back because we like to support the community that has supported us for eight years. We wouldn’t be where we are today without the support of so many people and organizations of the Central Minnesota community and we want to do what we can to thank them.” – Kelly Zaske
“Being able to give back to the community that gives so much to the companies around St. Cloud and surrounding areas is so important to Gaslight because, without them, none of what we do would be possible. I love working for a company that realizes this fact and is willing to pour their heart and soul into every pro bono project that we do. Working with our non-profit partners has been heartwarming and fun and I can’t wait to see what impact they will have in the future.” – Sidne Gardner
“Being a part of a team that gives back to our community has been so much fun. Every single instance has been an eye opening experience that has made a significant change in my life and how I see the world every day—we all have this incredible opportunity to impact someone’s life! Gaslight’s encouragement and dedication to volunteer as a team has given me even more opportunities to have a hand in strengthening our communities and the world we live in.” – Kenzie Tenney
We hope that you are inspired to get out into your community and make a difference. If you are in the Central Minnesota Community, we have provided some links below to get you started!
https://unitedwayhelps.org/ – Improve people’s lives by mobilizing the caring power of Central Minnesota
http://www.marchofdimes.org/index.aspx – Make a difference to protect the health of moms and babies
http://www.redcross.org/support – Provide compassionate care to those in need
https://www.greattheatre.org/support/ – Ensure everyone in central Minnesota will have access to the transformative power of the arts
http://tricountyhumanesociety.org/ – Provide quality services to the people and animals of Central Minnesota
https://cmhfh.org/ – Help build strength, stability, and self-reliance in partnership with people and families in need of a decent and affordable home
http://bbbscentralmn.org/get-involved – Develop positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people