There are several compelling reasons for a business to give back to the communities it serves. Giving back can expose your business to potential new customers, build goodwill for your company brand, and boost employee engagement and morale, to name a few. Of course, the primary reasons to give back are to help others and help strengthen the communities around your business.
Bankers Trust is committed to helping the communities we serve grow and thrive. Over the years, we’ve found many ways to give back to the communities around us that are impactful, both for our team members and for the nonprofits we support. Some examples include:
- Addressing important community needs: Business leaders understand the best environment in which to grow their company is a strong community. When considering ways to give back, look at the biggest issues facing your community.
- Considering employee passions: To keep employees engaged in your efforts, be sure to ask about what’s important to them and find ways to connect your giving to those interests. To accomplish this, survey your team members to learn which organizations or issues are most important to them and then make donations and/or create volunteer opportunities to support those causes. You could also create a program that matches a portion of employee contributions to the nonprofits they support.
- Aligning giving with key areas your company values: Whether you’re just launching your company’s efforts to give back or updating your charitable giving program, the most effective way to ensure authenticity is to align your efforts and funding priorities with your company’s mission and values. For example, Bankers Trust focuses on community development, arts and inclusion, and employee interests.
Once you’ve created a program that aligns with your values, addresses community needs and connects with employee passions, it’s time to act. You may have heard the adage that encourages people to give back with their time, talent and treasure. The same applies to support from businesses:
- Encourage your employees to give of their time: Volunteering is a great, low-cost way for you and your employees to give back. Many nonprofits post volunteer needs on their websites and, depending on where you live, United Way may provide a one-stop resource for volunteer opportunities across the community. Your organization may choose to offer Volunteer Time Off (VTO) that allows employees to volunteer on company time or organize company-wide volunteer events, such as reading to children or participating in a neighborhood cleanup day. Through the Bankers Trust employee volunteer program, team members across the company annually volunteer 15,000 hours, on average, in their communities.
- Inspire employees to use their talents: If your employees are highly skilled in a specific trade or profession, consider sharing those talents via in-kind donations of time and/or related supplies. For example, Bankers Trust team members use their expertise – from finance to investing to marketing – to serve on more than 180 nonprofit boards and committees across our markets.
- Share your treasure: Whether your organization is donating millions to the local food bank or a few hundred dollars to support an after-school program, your generosity makes our community stronger. Bankers Trust annually gives $1 million each year to support community organizations. We’re proud of our support of the United Way in each of our markets, including here in Omaha, where 100% of our team members participated in our campaign to support United Way of the Midlands.
Whether your business is new to investing in the community or these efforts have been well-ingrained in your culture for many years, the most important thing to remember is to keep going. Even a small investment in a nonprofit or a few hours of volunteer time can go a long way in helping your community grow and thrive.
About Bankers Trust
Since 1917, Bankers Trust has been a leading financial institution for commercial and consumer banking services. Headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, and with total assets of $6 billion, Bankers Trust is the largest independently owned depository institution in the state. The company employs approximately 550 people across the country, with branches in Central Iowa (including Ames), Cedar Rapids, and Phoenix, and offices in Omaha and Sioux Falls. Bankers Trust invests more than $1 million annually into the community, and Bankers Trust employees volunteer an average of 15,000 hours each year at nonprofit organizations. Learn more at BankersTrust.com.