Most small business owners claim that they are too busy to engage in volunteer programs. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find a skeptic who fails to see how volunteerism relates to their business. In reality, being socially responsible can build rapport, confidence and enthusiasm for your organization.

In what Deloitte calls a “Glassdoor era” – where decisions and actions are increasingly visible for every employee and prospective employee – 87% of organizations cite culture and engagement as one of their top challenges. If millennials are to comprise 75% of the workforce by 2030, and almost 70% say that “giving back and being civically engaged are their highest priorities,” according to Meet the Millennials author Leigh Buchanan, you can see why there is a race for corporate social responsibility in America.

That’s all well and good, but why should this matter to you as a small business owner? Is this a race worth running?

Your team cannot afford to be on the sidelines. As a small business, networking is a vital and integral part to your company’s success. Behind every social cause, there are people helping behind the scenes. These are prospects, contacts, and folks who can help build your reputation. Never lose sight of the power of networking. As a small organization entrenched in your community, you are more agile to make more meaningful relationships while producing positive change.

Volunteer opportunities can lead to greater employee engagement, which is critical to a healthy culture. When times are tough, engaged personnel become loyal advocates. A recent study by Willis Towers Watson reports engaged organizations grew profits as much as three times faster than their competitors.

In 2017, make engagement a recruitment and retention strategy. At Inspire Federal Credit Union, active community engagement is part of our culture. We offer our associates paid time service hours to serve others, such as the American Red Cross, Bucks County Habitat for Humanity, Middletown Community Foundation, Middletown Townships National Night Out and United Way of Bucks County. We have found volunteer programs create a happier, connected, more productive workforce.

Is your message as compelling as your product or service? In a competitive world of sameness, what makes you different? Consumers are looking for a friendly, meaningful connection to what they buy. Where there is lack of trust, more and more consumers want to do business with companies that are doing good for their communities. When you give back, your business is viewed as more legitimate and authentic in the eyes of the public.

Now is the time to throw yourself into work you truly believe in.

Inspire to be Different

As your business banker, we want to see you be your best. While we offer the financial tools to help your business grow, we also support your favorite charity with our Inspire Partner Program.

When you refer employees, friends, family and other business partners to Inspire Federal Credit Union, once a year we will make a donation to a nonprofit of your choice. The amount donated is calculated as percentage of the average daily balances of accounts referred by your organization. It’s another way we become a stronger community partner.

For banking, business checking, merchant services and more, call Inspire today at (212) 788-5270, extension 308.