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The importance of philanthropy.

The Importance of Philanthropy

Senior living communities improve the lives of older adults every day by providing safe housing, engaging activities, nutritious meals and excellent health care. Many communities also contribute to their local areas in a variety of ways, including making their campuses available and offering financial support to worthy causes.

Across a range of industries, philanthropy plays an important role in giving back to the community and maintaining success. Some business leaders consider charitable giving to be an obligation or an expendable activity, but other organizations position philanthropy as a core function vital to their business interests.

What are some of the ways engaging in philanthropic endeavors can benefit your senior living community, and should you consider making a more-substantial commitment to charitable organizations in your local area?

Finding a Deeper Purpose

For many senior living communities, philanthropy is more than an activity; it’s a core part of the mission. By connecting with worthy groups and causes, communities strengthen their sense of purpose and take on the role of good corporate citizens.

Embracing a philanthropic spirit can inspire passion among your residents, board members and employees, and it can create loyalty for your organization among members of the public.

Building a Strong Brand

As the senior living industry continues to become more competitive, communities are searching for ways of differentiating themselves. By engaging in philanthropic activities, you communicate that your organization has a deep commitment to the local area and its people.

Authenticity is critical in philanthropy. To fully connect with members of the public, get involved with organizations and causes that make sense for your individual community and can generate true excitement among your residents and team members.

Increasing Staff Engagement

Most people want to find meaning in daily life, and they will gravitate toward jobs with organizations they admire. When you promote philanthropy as a core value of your community, you improve your ability to attract and retain caring team members who will work to be part of something bigger than themselves.

Find ways to use your philanthropic efforts to better engage employees and connect them both to your community and to the local area. Research has found a connection between employees’ feelings about community involvement by their employers and their commitment to their jobs. Individuals who feel that they give back through their jobs are more likely to express pride in their organizations, and they stay in their jobs longer.

By giving your team members a voice in your specific philanthropic efforts — and finding ways to use their unique talents to benefit the greater community — you also improve employee engagement.

Building your reputation as a company with a strong focus on philanthropy also may give you an advantage in recruiting candidates who already hold a personal commitment to volunteering and working for the benefit of less-fortunate people.

Connecting to the Greater Community

Regardless of your motivation for becoming more involved with philanthropy, charitable organizations and the individuals who rely on them benefit from your generosity.

When your senior living community offers financial support, charitable groups can continue to fund vital programs and purchase needed supplies to assist real people in their everyday lives. Staff members and residents who serve as volunteers provide valuable manpower, performing functions that otherwise might not be accomplished.

Specific individuals will benefit, but the philanthropic efforts of your senior living community also provide advantages to your local area as a whole. Whether the results are a higher standard of living, fewer children going hungry, or increased levels of literacy, your entire area gains an edge from the philanthropic activities of organizations like yours.

Your current and prospective residents, along with their family members, will be aware of your contributions to the greater community and the positive changes that result.

Make Philanthropy Part of Your Core Mission

Is philanthropy treated as an afterthought in your senior living community, or is it a core component of your mission?

As the holiday season nears, consider committing to specific philanthropic goals each year. For example, provide employees with a certain number of hours away from their jobs each month for volunteering, and dedicate a percentage of your revenue to charitable causes.

By making philanthropy a vital part of your community’s identity, you can better engage your team members, give back to the local area, and connect with residents and their families.