For landlords and property managers, the benefits of giving back to the community are innumerable. In addition to forging strong connections with your residents and employees, taking the time to organize or participate in a community service event has long-term positive impacts on those who need it most.
As we enter the holiday season, particularly after a year as financially difficult as 2020 has been, there is no better time to give back. From donations and holiday drives to sponsoring a charity or organizing team volunteer events, there are so many opportunities for landlords and property managers to help others.
If your company doesn’t have a program currently in place to give back—or if some of your former volunteer ideas need a refresh—here are some great initiatives to help give back to your community:
1. Sponsoring a Charity
You don’t have to be a mega-corporation to sponsor a charity. Whether you have 5 employees or 500 employees, any company is well-equipped to sponsor a charity with enough hands on deck. For example, bring your company together to sponsor a local bike race, 5k, or marathon that supports a charitable organization. In addition to donating funds and bringing awareness to a great cause, participating in a marathon or event is a fantastic way to bring your team together.
2. Donating Expertise
With so many in need, it can be easy to overcommit and want to participate in several different charitable organizations simultaneously. However, it is typically best to focus on where you feel your contributions can make the biggest impact and leverage your unique talents and skills to benefit others.
For example, if you have strong organizational or technical skills, or if are a great communicator or designer, many non-profits may need your professional skills in addition to boots-on-the-ground support.
Catchafire offers a platform for individuals to volunteer their time and skillset to non-profits online. Volunteers can sign up for an account and donate their time virtually to help charitable organizations achieve their goals.
3. Community Days
Community days are a great way to get employees out of the office or house (for those who work remotely) and come together to bond while helping others. While meeting together safely amid COVID-19 can be challenging, there are several outdoor activities that allow employees to maintain a safe distance while giving back. Some ideas include serving meals at an outdoor food drive, participating in a park cleanup, or hosting an outdoor workshop that helps those in need learn a valuable skill.
4. Organizing Team Volunteer Events
Similar to organizing community days, team volunteer events are another great way to give back while helping your team come together. Draper and Kramer participates in two large charitable events each year for the Greater Chicago Food Pantry and for a school supply campaign. Draper and Kramer employees volunteer to help sort and ship out food for the food drive, as well as make backpacks with school supplies for children each year.
5. Donation Matching
Gather a list of charitable organizations and have your employees vote on which one they would like to support, or select an organization that has meaning to you. Encourage employees to donate to the cause and offer donation matching to incentivize larger contributions. If employees are comfortable sharing how much they are donating, create a visual chart that displays donation amounts and how close you are to attaining a certain monetary goal.
6. Donate Branded Items to an Event
If there is a 5k or bike race happening in your area, consider donating water bottles or hats to participants to help offset the cost of the event for the organization. In addition to helping the organization, providing branded products with your logo and contact information is a great way to advertise your company.
7. Support Small Businesses
Supporting small, locally owned businesses is a great way to give back to the community. As a property manager or landlord, demonstrating your dedication to your community shows your residents that you care about the area where your properties are located and are genuinely invested in helping small businesses grow and thrive.
Educate current and prospective residents about small businesses in the area on your blog, website, or social media and try to buy locally as much as possible when working on property renovations or improvements.
It is very likely that many of your current or prospective residents are small business owners, so partnering with them to help their small businesses grow and thrive is a strong incentive for them to continue renting through your company.
8. Donation Jar
Although many employees are working from home right now, if you have employees working out of an office, setting up a donation jar is a great way to collect funds for those in need. If you are working remotely, include a link in your email signature to a GoFundMe fundraiser or some other online collection site.
9. Donate Office Space
If you have several empty offices available due to employees currently working from home, offer to donate your vacant space to a non-profit in need of meeting space. While many non-profits are also working from home currently, having the option to go to a designated office space and get out of the house for several hours can make a significant impact on a non-profit member’s productivity. Some non-profits are in need of conference rooms to meet with donors, so offering your space can make a significant impact.
10. Donation & Holiday Drives
Holiday drives and donation events are easy ways for time-strapped teams to give back, as they often are not as time-intensive, yet make a great impact on those in need. A holiday drive can involve setting up a day where employees can donate clothing, books, canned goods, and other items through a food or clothing drive.
Draper and Kramer is committed to supporting the communities that we serve. To read more about our history of community involvement and giving, as well as our ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion, visit our website.