In response to the ill political winds of the previous year, Communication Resources committed to donating a significant amount of staff time to charitable and community causes in 2017. When we made our commitments, I promised to write about what we did, so in the spirit of keeping that part of our 'deal', I’m reflecting on what we did last year and where we still need to go in the coming year.
Our volunteer work and giving this year focused on programs that support community and enhance family and social connections.
Our team donated almost 100 hours to Battle Ground’s Prevention Alliance to support a broad-based community outreach campaign designed to encourage kids and parents to talk about drug and alcohol abuse. Noah Pylvainen led our efforts for the Alliance, designing the Talking Points campaign to spur positive conversations among teens and parents. The campaign included a broad range of collateral materials and support of several of the Alliance’s community events. Research has found kids who learn about the effects of drugs and alcohol from their parents are 50% less likely to use drugs or alcohol than those who do not. Talking Points is designed to make these conversations easier and more regular.
Our team also continued our long-term support of Housing Hope in Snohomish County. Housing Hope has created a successful model based on stable housing that moves families into economic sustainability. Laine Potter continued her years-long work with the organization that started with rocking babies and where she now serves on HH’s Resource Development Council. Our entire team assisted by providing time and dollars to support annual fundraising programs. Mike and I were also pleased to be a part of the original investment team for the HopeWorks Station project in Everett as it moves from concept to reality in the coming year.
In 2017, we exceeded our time and resource commitment. But, more importantly, what’s next? After this year, we learned how hard it is to sustain charitable giving and volunteering over the long haul, particularly as we serve clients and ‘feed’ our growing practice. Community giving takes a dedicated focus and team members who are willing to champion our efforts.
This year, I’m committing to continuing our efforts on behalf of local organizations and causes that support both communication and community. Internally, we’re going to talk more about charitable giving and volunteering, and we’ll make both a more regular part of staff discussions. And, I’m designating a team champion to coordinate all of our efforts. It’s not enough to make the commitment; we need to designate the time and develop the internal infrastructure to support that commitment.
At a time when corporations are given tax breaks while private citizens are hurting, all of us who own businesses need to either step up or continue to step out in front of community giving. So, here’s our commitment and (in the spirit of the week’s political tweetstorm), my challenge for 2018:
I’ve got a ‘charitable giving button’ on my desk that I’m going to push frequently to support important programs in our state and our community. It’s huge, and it works! We’ll give the value of 40 hours/ full-time employee this year to our community. I challenge each of my colleagues across the industry to do the same. Let’s see what we can do together to support the communities in which we work and live. Game on!