(Photo by Dan R. Krauss/Getty Images)

(Photo by Dan R. Krauss/Getty Images)

Philanthropy-focused corporations and businesses recognize that healthy, robust communities are integral to their bottom line. Supporting neighborhood-based initiatives and projects not only keeps companies solvent, but also beautifies local roadways and parks, helps to maintain robust schools, libraries and places of worship and creates high levels of civic pride and safety. When business supports communities, neighborhoods flourish in ways able to support businesses. Here are a few ways they go hand-in-hand.


Community-Supported Grants and Sponsorships
Many large and small-scale companies offer financial support, geared towards sustaining a high quality of life, in areas where they do business or where their employees live. Different companies have different areas of focus and guidelines for both the types of projects and events they will sponsor. A wide variety of charities and neighborhood groups can benefit and realize improvement in everything from water quality to traffic safety. Some global corporations, such as the Coca-Cola Company, have established regional foundations better able to target citizenship priorities in specific locales.
Roll-Up-Your-Sleeves Activism
Communities come together and are strengthened by grass roots service efforts. Many of these are spearheaded by local businesses and national companies, able to share product resources and workers eager to get involved in their own neighborhoods. Starbucks, for example, organizes all-hands-on-deck groups of employees, customers and community stakeholders for a variety of projects, such as MLK Days of Service, Global Ops Teen Feed Meal Teams and local Garden Harvesting events.
Team Up for a Local Cause
The most successful companies are able to create team spirit amongst their employees, both in the board room and on the playing field. In order to foster high levels of productivity, physical fitness and community support, many local and national corporations create company teams of employees who run or walk together in local marathons and races. Committed to playing hard as well as working hard, these teams are poised to raise money for causes as diverse as library book drives or a cure for cancer. In an effort to raise awareness and prevention of ovarian cancer, the T.E.A.L. Walk in Brooklyn is supported by teams from locally-based Maimonides Medical Center and national corporate giant, Snapple.
Hire American
No community can thrive when its members are out of work. Thousands of jobs formerly filled in the good old U.S.A. have found their way off shore, where cheap labor and often lower standards of excellence reign. Many companies of consciousness are actively bucking this trend, despite the temporarily lowered profit margins sometimes caused by hiring American. One of these is Alex and Ani, whose highly successful business model of Main Street, crafted -in-America stores supports local economic growth one neighborhood at a time. An extensive list of companies committed to hiring local can be found here.


Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.


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