By Tammy J. Arquette, Esq.
We know that investing in women makes good business sense, whether that be in promoting women within a company, supporting women owned businesses, or supporting local programs that benefit women. Women play an important role in every aspect of business locally and globally.
Women are business owners, executives, employees, producers and consumers. As such, empowering women presents an incredible opportunity for business to improve the lives of people making, selling, and buying products.
As a woman owned business, there is a struggle not only to be successful in business, but to manage time and resources in a way that allows us to also support our own, our family and our community needs.
We think of work-life balance as a balancing of our work time with our family time, but it is also a balancing of our community investment time. How can we do it all? How can we make the best of our current resources and commitments in order to make the biggest impact on those community needs that are most important to us?
Volunteerism and community activity can be done in a way that maximizes our personal, business and volunteer goals. Joining with existing local programs and organizations can make this possible. Involvement with local programs and organizations, whether that be by joining a board, becoming a member, volunteering with programming, making financial contributions to their programs, advertising during their events, participating in their external events, and sharing their messages on our social media, are all ways to combine our investment in our business, our self and community.
In doing so, we are expanding our connections with other companies, expanding our own personal growth and development, and making a difference in our community.
Our commitment to volunteering can take many shapes and forms. Just as we have had to adapt ways of working during the pandemic, we must also adapt ways of giving and volunteering that embrace different means that meet the goal of helping our community. We do not all have the capacity to get involved in larger volunteer projects, but we can engage in smaller acts of kindness and less time intensive ways of contributing.
Technological changes brought about by the recent pandemic have increased opportunities to participate in organizations through the use of video-conferenced meetings, thereby reducing time commitments to travel. Many organizations have transitioned their in-person volunteer activities to virtual volunteering.
And these organizations are looking for volunteers to put their unique skills, from marketing to engineering, to work.
According to a study from Deloitte, creating a culture of volunteerism within your company doesn’t just help others; it also improves your organization. It helps build employee morale, provides an opportunity for employees to cooperate with each other towards another mutual goal, improves workplace atmosphere, and increases employee productivity. This can be done by partnering with local organizations to provide volunteer opportunities that align with your company mission.
The needs of women and girls in our communities have also been exacerbated by the recent pandemic. Local programs like CAPTAIN, Wellspring and Soroptimist International of Saratoga County, provide opportunities for women and women owned businesses to support our community. They offer opportunities for financial donations, volunteering of time and expertise, and grass roots organizational activities.
They also provide opportunities to support their fundraising activities with sponsorships, financial donations, in-kind donations, and participating in their events. By joining an active organization that supports women and girls in our community, we have the benefit of maximizing our impact while regulating our time and resources commitment.
As Heather French Henry (former Miss America title holder) once said, “Volunteering is at the very core of being a human. No one has made it through life without someone else’s help.” The easiest way to make a large impact is to start your efforts in your own community.