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Why Corporate Giving Matters

Oftentimes, the phrase “corporate giving” conjures up images of companies writing checks, hoping to make tax-deductible gifts before the end of the year. Although that’s a piece of the corporate philanthropy puzzle, it can mean much more than that. It definitely does at Pyxl.

One of our goals this year as a company is to increase our commitment to giving others our time, resources and skills. In the past, we’ve created websites for organizations like The Knoxville Challenger and Free Arts of Arizona, which has been fun for us, but this year we’d also like to spend time as a group working together in the communities in which our offices are located: Knoxville and Tempe.

We’re not only talking about writing a check, but doing hands-on work that involves using our brains and bodies (i.e. helping build a house with Habitat for Humanity). This type of employee volunteering is not only good for those you’re serving, but I think there are also several ways it’s incredibly beneficial for the company.

First, it allows employees to connect all of who they are with the company.

Employees are more than the skills that they bring. The Pyxl crew represents a wide range of passions, interests and things that we care about, from DIY projects and running to building armor, and we’ve been asked to bring forward ideas for organizations or foundations that we could partner with, by building websites, volunteering our time at events, etc.

We have the exciting opportunity to connect the things that we care about with Pyxl’s corporate giving goals for the year, bridging the gap between work and everything else in a really meaningful way. It also means a lot knowing that the company, as well as the rest of our coworkers, wants to connect with the things that are important to us.

Second, it boosts employee morale and connection.

Our Tempe office general manager Eric, and senior designer Dereck, deliver snacks to kids attending the Free Arts of Arizona summer camp.

One of the great things about our corporate giving goals this year is that some of them are centered and focused on physical interaction and connection with each other outside of the office. For instance, we’ll be interacting with organizations outside of work by filing any needs they have, from building a house for Habitat or offering our time to volunteer at the local homeless shelter.

There’s something about being physically and directly connected to the work you’re doing that cannot be felt or known simply by writing a check or even building a website. Research has shown that volunteering time and energy in a project that doesn’t provide direct, immediate personal gain is good for your well-being. Likewise, working on this kind of project allows us to spend some time together outside of the office, which encourages greater personal connection.

Third, it serves as a means of employee development.

Corporate giving serves as a means of developing employees into better individuals. It may sound cheesy, but when we work alongside of or interact with people we normally wouldn’t spend time with, we’re able to see people in a different light and can be challenged to think of things in new ways. Not only is this great for your employees in the workplace, but also outside of it too. In fact, research has shown that employee volunteering programs succeed because of the feelings of satisfaction and engagement employees feel.

Employees are also able to get to know their city better. For instance, most of the Pyxlites in our Knoxville office are transplants, meaning we didn’t grow up here. So, volunteer opportunities in the community provide the chance for us to deepen our connection to, and better understand, the city in which we live and work.

Aside from the typical benefits a corporation receives from giving (i.e. recognition within the community), philanthropic efforts can have a marked and distinct impact on the company as a whole, as well as on specific employees. It will be exciting to see the types of projects we participate in this year! We’ll keep you posted.

Tell us: Does your company participate in a corporate giving or volunteer program? What are the benefits or drawbacks?

 {Image courtesy of Official U.S. Navy Imagery. Used under Creative Commons.}