Utah is ranked No. 1 in the nation for volunteerism by nationalservice.gov. And it’s not just individuals who are racking up hours of goodness. It’s also corporations who are putting their time and money where their heart is. One of the most innovative nonprofits in Utah Valley is Kids On The Move, which focuses on empowering children and families.
In 2018, Kids on the Move received almost 10,000 hours of service from 2,400 volunteers — and several groups came from companies wanting to spread goodness. Some corporate groups serve Kids On The Move through running or volunteering with the Heber Half Run for Autism. Others paint a classroom or give families a night off by babysitting during the Respite Care hours.
“That’s where the real satisfaction is,” says Ruby Haddock, vice president of development for Kids On The Move.
To keep Utah in the top spot, here are five tips on incorporating service into your company culture shared by Nu Skin experts Heather Cruz, director of CSR operations, and Sydnee Fox, director of CSR communications. With its Force For Good Foundation, Nu Skin has made giving back a priority over its 37-year history.
Tap Into Talents If your company has never had a charity program before, “align service with the area of your expertise. Take a look at the community and what the local needs are,” Cruz says. For example, if you’re a tire company, you could donate new tires to a family in need without extending beyond your wheelhouse of skills.
Focus Cruz warns against endless missions. If you try to do everything, you’ll make a tiny difference in a lot of places but never something sustainable and legendary. “Look for long-term partnerships instead of doing one-off projects,” Fox says. “Find a community partner. Your goals can be more meaningful if you’re not changing focus.”
Create a Connection Service becomes more meaningful for employees if they can physically take part in the service. “I’ve done a few different projects, and it means little until you go and see what’s happening with your own eyes,” Cruz says. So even if two people can unload all the fleece blankets you tied at lunch, bring a larger crew so more people can have an ah-ha moment.
Cash In Cruz and Fox have found that the cost of a service project also functions as an investment in the morale of the group. “It’s the difference between having an engaged employee versus a disengaged employee. For that result, the cost is so minimal,” Cruz says.
Let Them Lead “Right now our team is focused on employee-driven campaigns and causes. If they are leading the services, there is more emotional buy-in and participation,” Cruz says. This approach also works if your demographic swings young. “Millennials love causes,” Fox says. “Make it social and have it be driven by them. The more they are behind a cause, the more they will stay.”
Each November, Nu Skin holds a Thanks and Giving Event. The human resources department collects donations from employees and asks for recommendations of which employees need extra help for the holidays. Maybe they’ve come on hard financial times or a child is in the hospital. The donation destination is kept private, but the event creates massive camaraderie in the company.