Nonprofit Spotlight: The Community Foundation of Western Nevada | What is your epic New Year’s resolution?
Tony Robbins’s 2015 New Year’s resolution was to give back; Blake Mycoskie of Toms wanted to show more gratitude; Cotter Cunningham of RetailMeNow resolved to be more environmentally aware; Karen Quintos of Dell planned to speak up for women in business; and Jan Singer of Spanx promised herself to support women in leadership.
I am a big believer that we can, personally and professionally, Do Well by Doing Good. I’m in good company.
John Mackey, the founder of Whole Foods once said “There can be little doubt that a certain amount of corporate philanthropy is simply good business and works for the long-term benefit of the investors.” Now worth more than $14 billion, it is hard to argue with his philosophy.
As we enter the new year, the best way to help ourselves, and our business, is by helping others. A gym membership is a great idea, but getting involved in more sustainable activities that build a strong community is ultimately much more meaningful. This is the type of success we need.
How do you measure success? Money in your pocket, happy employees, increasing sales, high productivity, a rising stock price? Do you include more altruistic measurements? Regardless of how you measure your success, I doubt your employees and customers measure it the same way. Even shareholders are often on the sidelines as you reinvest and take other measures to build your successful business.
At the end of the day much of the success of your business is due to the men and women who make your business work. The people who work with you every day, who, regardless of how much they work, spend most of their 168 hours each week with their families out in their community. What does your business do to help them in their lives, and to help other community members including your customers and shareholders? Is having a strong local economy, safe neighborhoods and downtown, a high overall quality of life, and reduction in the suffering of those around us a part of your business strategy?
It’s crunch time. 2017 is days away and I hope you and your business will include engagement of your company and workforce in philanthropy and community leadership in your plan for the year. In doing so you will very likely help all of us to achieve the most popular New Year’s resolution, which is to enjoy life to the fullest.
Does it sound challenging? You’ve probably heard the popular saying, “Anything worth having is worth working for.” The Community Foundation of Western Nevada can help you and your business help the community. We bring your enthusiasm, your ideas and connections, your resources, together with those of other corporations, private funders, and passionate citizens. Together you will create improvements in the community that would otherwise be impossible to achieve. We help align your community work with others in the region to create lasting impact. We can measure the community impact so you know you are producing real results and you can measure the impact on your business.
If your business needs a reason to engage in philanthropy you should look no further than data published by the University of Iowa last year. The numbers showed that giving not only bolsters PR and community relations, but actually improves employee morale and productivity — making corporate giving good for the bottom line at every angle. It isn’t just about giving. We can produce a greater positive and sustainable impact, even taking on community issues believed to be beyond our ability to improve, by working together.
Steve Jobs said, “Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” The same is true in philanthropy. If you have been supporting the community for years, and are looking for more impact from your philanthropy, please give the Community Foundation a call.
A great place to start will be adding this to your 2017 New Year’s Resolution list. “I resolve to make my community a better place for me, my family, my friends, my coworkers, my customers, and my community.” Now that is an epic resolution, one that places you in the company of the top corporate leaders and thinkers, and one you can keep.
Learn more by contacting me at the Community Foundation, go to nevadafund.org, call 775-333-5499 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris Askin is the president and CEO of the Community Foundation.
“I point out many cases of where privately owned companies do just as bad a job as publicly owned companies,” says Reno resident and former teacher Robert (R.D.) Gardner.