Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mixing Business With Pleasure

Many business owners start their own business because what they do is their life calling, their passion. This was certainly true for me, even though since starting our business 15 years ago, my purpose is different than when we started the company.   I have found in my travels as a speaker, author and consultant that many business owners and leaders are also passionate about giving back. It is in fact a big part of our business model as well.  A couple of months ago I blogged about a great article that Brett Wilson (Dragon’s Den TV show) did in Venture Magazine about philanthropy in business, I really enjoyed his perspective. 
A few weeks ago, I was thrilled to be able to interview with CEO of eWomenNetwork, an international business organization, Sandra Yancey.  We talked about the importance of philanthropy in business. 
Sandra talked about the eWomenNetwork Foundation, her company’s philanthropic foundation that supports emerging leaders, and a number of charitable organizations around North America. Every single eWomenNetwork business mixer and networking meeting has a philanthropic component, this was what drew me to become a member a number of years ago.  eWomenNetwork’s motto is “Give first share always.” 
Something that Sandra said really stood out for me – “Time promotes your exposes you.” Wow, what an interesting perspective. In my presentations, I often talk about making your moments matter, and deciding in advance how you want to show up in the world.  Sandra’s comment is an important reminder to carefully choose how you show up and how you make your moments matter.
Here are some of the great ways my corporate clients are giving back and playing full on in community service and philanthropy:
  •        Monthly change for change initiatives (staff put their lose change in the “change for change” jar and every month at staff meeting they choose a different community organization to donate to.  Another client does something similar and they also make a team field trip to the organization (what a great way to give and build relationships).
  •        United Way fundraisers
  •        Cause of Choice- company chooses one organization they support throughout the year
  •       Day of Helping- the team chooses an organization that needs help (e.g. with painting, spring cleaning, an event, etc) and volunteers
  •        Toner recycling drives- some companies save their toners and donate to a place like
  •        Sobeys (and other similar businesses) gift card purchases where a portion goes to a local sport team, or community organization
  •        Pop bottle drives and the money goes to charity
  •        Volunteer to make meals at the local soup kitchen

What are the ways you give back?  I would love to be able to feature your company in a future blog.
To listen to the interview with Sandra Yancey, please visit this link (and feel free to share with others).  It is full of incredible tips on philanthropy in business and success!

Listen to the other radio show interviews where I have interviewed guests on the topic of leadership, marketing, trust building in teams, communication, and more: