As I prepared for our quarterly meeting last week, I wanted to speak to the team about the importance of corporate social responsibility. We were about to embark on a day of service following our quarterly update and I thought it would be appropriate to say a few words to the team about why we were putting away the laptops and phones for the day. A quick Google search led me to a myriad of lists touting the benefits of corporate philanthropy and service initiatives. The lists all seemed to have consistently hollow themes of improving company image, increasing brand loyalty, driving customer and employee retention, and ultimately greater profits. It struck me how self-serving the items on these lists were. They were identifying possible byproducts of doing good but they didn't address the actual reasonwhywe do it.
We do it because it feels good!
Corporate service is no different than volunteering time in our private lives or simply being nice to other people on a personal level. We do these things for the sense of fulfillment gained from helping others. Yes, there can certainly be byproducts such as making more friends, lowering stress, or a possible favor down the road but they are not the driver.
Last Friday, we volunteered our time at a local park in the City of Biddeford. Our team left the office equipped with landscaping tools, trash bags, and positive attitudes. Over the next several hours we cleaned the park, trimmed overgrowth, weeded, and improved their garden beds. Seeing the changes in the park and residents enjoying the improvements was a great way to end the work week! It was both fulfilling and fun to be able to do this as a team.
When we started ATX, we established a core value of giving back to our communities and making a positive impact. This manifests itself in several ways including pro bono services along with our 5% give back pledge where we donate 5% of company profits annually to qualified 501(c)3 organizations. Establishing a community service day is a continuation of this effort and a way to amplify our impact on the communities we serve. This makes us feel good about the work we do and we are proud of the impact we have been able to make over the last 10 years.