The line “It’s all business” just doesn’t fly anymore. Companies need to do more than just be great at their business – they must also recognize the importance of corporate citizenship. In the financial world, this means companies and their executives must meet the legal, ethical and economic responsibilities placed on them by shareholders.

In the real world, it means much more. Companies, manufacturers, law firms – virtually every type of commerce – know that they can attract more business if they reflect a human side. That means taking the time, effort and financial resources available to improve the quality of life – of employees and of the communities in which they do business.

The Mom-and-Pop store that sponsors the neighborhood Little League team is showing a sense of responsibility – and it is manifested on the T-shirts of those six-year olds that are running backwards on the baseball diamond. The big bank that is the presenting sponsor of a huge art show is making a statement that art is important in the community – and its name is on the 2-foot banner that spans the road. The real estate company that takes a stand against hunger and participates in a fundraiser to feed the citizens of the county is aligning itself with a vitally important cause.

There’s no shortage of charities and non-profits. Companies can get behind the arts, education, athletics and youth initiatives. There are dire needs organizations that provide financial assistance, food, medical support and companionship. There are major health and wellness organizations that have local branches that need help.

Making a commitment to the community is good business sense. It results in positive PR – and that translates into a positive – among employees who have pride in the employers; among the community, who see a company who cares; and among potential customers and clients, who like to do business with companies who have a heart.

The organizations and charities that benefit from corporate support, and the people that rely on their help, cannot survive without the help of businesses. And today, businesses cannot survive without showing that they are there to help as well.

by: Caren Berg

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