It’s no secret that community service is good for business. Forbes reports that providing time for your staff to volunteer increases employee engagement and collaboration far more than endless staff meetings or trainings.
For small businesses, developing a reputation for community engagement can also boost loyalty significantly. Wouldn’t you rather patronize a business that gave back to the neighborhood?
What better way to demonstrate our commitment to these principles than to share stories of our own community service program? Clover Cares is the initiative that helps pair Clover employees with local service opportunities near their office.
Back in 2014, when Jacob Schuit was working for Perka (now Clover Rewards), he worked with other team members to launch Perka Cares.
“It started with an email to our entire Portland office. I invited anyone interested in giving back to our community to attend a meeting. With fantastic response, we soon had a committee to help plan and execute some events.”
Those first events included selling raffle tickets at a Portland Timbers soccer game to benefit Active Children Portland, participating in a race benefitting a local school that promotes entrepreneurial training for at-risk youth, and serving a lot of meals to the homeless and in-need at the Transitions project.
Now that Jacob works directly for Clover, he’s taken what he learned on Perka Cares to shape the current Clover Cares program. With offices in Sunnyvale, NYC, Atlanta, Colorado Springs, and Portland, there is more to coordinate, but the benefits are undeniable.
He saw a number of individuals engaged with volunteer work, but there was no corporate organization to it. Asking for volunteers, he soon had a committee comprised of members in each office that agreed to plan a quarterly event.
To identify community partners, any Clover employee can make suggestions, and committee members facilitate relationships with nearby organizations for service events. For each event, Clover recruits between 5 and 25 volunteers for a period of 2-5 hours to help with a specific project or task.
In the first quarter of Clover Cares activity, we were able to provide 44 volunteers to 5 organizations: over 100 service hours given back to our communities.
How can your business give back?[lead image: Sunnyvale Clover team at Second Harvest Food Bank]