Community Service

We are looking to institue a community service policy - I would appreciate learning about what other people do at the companies.

Do you pay them for community service? Do you allow a certain amount of hours each month?

Do you cover membership costs?

Our intent is to have our people more involved in the community as well as learn more about our industry. Our industry is a niche market, so not as easily done as others, but there are still organizations to join etc.

We are also considering a company contribution of a certain % for monies that are raised for a charity etc. I would appreciate any examples of what you do and the process you have for these types of events.

Thanks all!!


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  • Our previous chairman was instrumental in starting up the United Way in our county back many-many years or many decades ago. We continue to support UW by being a pace-setting organization and matching our employee contributions up to $250 each. As for community organizations, we encourage our management staff to participate and we pay the monthly dues/fees. However, we do expect them to be an active participate in the clubs, etc. and not just passive members that occasionally show up for a meeting.
  • We have a charitable contributions committee made up of volunteers from throughout the company. About this time each year, HR puts the call out for those who want to be on the committee. Anyone can join.

    The meeting is treated as any other meeting (we use the conference room, no one clocks out). The committee usually tries to plan an event for each month starting in the late spring. Most of what we do involves no monetary cost for the company other than employee time.

    We usually do a few of labor-type service projects, including [URL=""]United Way Day of Caring[/URL] (the link is to the St. Louis program because it has a good description, just google United Way Day of Caring and your city/county/state) and serving breakfast and lunch at the local [URL=""]Ronald McDonald House[/URL] (we have people sign up for food to bring; often some people contribute food items and other go do the cooking).

    At the beginning of the school year, we have a school supply drive for a local program that distributes the supplies to teachers. We also usually do a food drive and bake sale where everyone brings in their best confections, we all get to gorge ourselves on yummy food for a day, and the money collected goes for the local Second Harvest Food Bank.

    3 of the 5 years I've been here we've done a wish for [URL=""]Make a Wish.[/URL] The way I understand it, that basically requires our CEO to make the commitment that whatever employees don't raise, either he or the company will make up. We send out an e-mail to all employees describing the wish and the child's situation and ask for donations. Then, we do a company picnic in the back parking lot (last time, all of the food was donated by the restaurants in our little business area) and invite the family out for a small ceremony and to meet us. The last time we did a wish, the Make a Wish representative handed out car magnets that were blue stars with the Make a Wish logo. I still see those stars on people's cars and in their cubes.

    Finally, we always adopt a family for Christmas. We go through a local agency that works with needy families. For a couple of years, we tried adopting families that we heard about through word of mouth, but we've found that using families who have been vetted and screened by an agency that concentrates on helping people in need just works better. We ask the family for a list of their wants and needs and put that list in the break room where people sign up for the items they want to bring. Whichever committee members (and other employees) are available will spend a couple of hours wrapping the presents (while on the clock) and then another group usually delivers them (again, on the clock).

    Dan Oswald, our fearless leader, is very generous to our committee. He allows us to do our planning and projects on company time (I do have to say I don't think anyone "takes advantage" of this) and contributes to our causes out of his own pocket. I think this buy-in from the top is essential.

    If you have any questions about how our committee works, please send me a pm!

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