Going Beyond the Office – Getting Your Company Involved With Its Community

 

At the heart of every company are its people and the people that it serves.

 

There is a business adage out there that asks you to consider the “Triple Bottom Line” of your company (sometimes called the “Three ‘P’s”): People, Profit, and Planet.  We believe that companies should always consider their efforts with this framework in mind, especially since these three forces feed back into each other so closely.

 

Of course, it is important to live and breathe this dedication to our people and the community, especially if it is a pillar of your corporate values like it is for Cornerstone. But daily focuses can be the theme of another post. Today, we would like to shine a spotlight on two specific events that we are glad to be a part of in our community and show you how easy it is to up your company’s game in this area.

 

A Day of Service

 

The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Jan. 20, 2020, marked the 25th anniversary of the day of service that celebrates the Civil Rights leader’s life and legacy. Observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. The Corporation for National and Community service has been charged to lead this effort for the last quarter century. 

Corporation for National & Community Service

 

The above website helps coordinate volunteer opportunities across the country local to your zip code, but your local community will also likely be posting in various venues about planned MLK Day opportunities. Many activities take no more than a few hours, and all make a big difference.

 

In our community, we got to participate in three different fantastic causes that deserve some visibility:

 

  • IU Hilltop Garden’s “Seed Kit Preparation” to help prepare seed kits for teachers in all surrounding counties for hands-on youth related learning activities

 

  • My Sister’s Closet’s “Day of Service”, which provides free work force attire and training to at-risk women pursuing employment

 

 

  • Many of our remote employees also had opportunities to volunteer in their own communities as well.

 

 

In terms of our own productivity these events cost us very little, but we know they meant a lot to our community. We absolutely encourage all companies, large and small to investigate similar opportunities within your own local area.

 

After all, for many of us in the business world – it is our community who supplies our profit! And a business would be nowhere without those both.

 

 

Networking with the Future

 

Indiana University’s Center of Excellence for Women & Technology is:

“IU’s voice for women & technology. Our mission is to serve as a national model by promoting, empowering, and advancing women to:

  • Build confidence and knowledge about technology,

  • Expand leadership and tech skills,

  • Fully leverage technology in support of academic and professional excellence, and

  • Foster intellectual networks, resources, and interdisciplinary collaborations.

 

Just this past Monday, Cornerstone got to participate with our local Indiana University in a networking evening for their upper-class women in tech.  We were so impressed with the sheer amount of talent in that room! We were excited to come home with a stack of incredibly impressive resumes from wonderful applicants – any one of which would make a phenomenal tech sector hire.

 

Let this example show that “involvement with the community” does not always have to involve charity work. While giving back is great, there are many avenues in which your company may be on the receiving end of the benefits of public engagement.

 

 

Being a Community Player

 

If you take nothing else away from reading, take this: our driving message is that your community can prop you up if you take some time to return the favor. Businesses exist in an ecosystem, and the people around it are all involved.

 

When people in our hometown of Bloomington, Indiana walk by our building, we want to make sure that they think of us favorably, and not just for the sake of having good PR. It’s because we think that way about them.

 

One of our executives once told me in an interview that “Our people are our Cornerstone”. We certainly try to live by that mantra. Encourage your business to consider something similar because having a policy and reputation for helping others will only ever help to improve your community for everyone.