Thursday, October 23, 2014

It’s better to give... The benefits of nurturing a philanthropic corporate culture

When we were kids, my mom made us finish all of the food on our plates—and as many of you can probably relate, she’d remind us that there were kids in the world who didn’t have anything to eat. Even so, we weren’t feeling so lucky to have broccoli sitting in front of us. Fast forward a few decades, and while so many things have changed, there are others that remain much the same. 

It’s a startling statistic: Here in Northeast Ohio, one in six people is food insecure (i.e., they don’t know where their next meal will come from). The Greater Cleveland Food Bank is one of the agencies that is responding to that need. They served 39 million meals in 2013 alone. Recently a group of us from Shamrock headed to the food bank to serve meals. And while I feel so blessed to be able to help and lend support, I’m even more proud that it wasn’t my idea.

We have this dedicated team of people at Shamrock who spearhead such community involvement efforts, providing all of us here with opportunities to serve. They meet monthly and discuss ways that we, as a company, can help in our community and even beyond. Having the discipline—and the desire—is what has helped to make philanthropy a core element of our corporate culture at Shamrock.

What’s important to our employees’ hearts is what’s important to us as a company: That’s always been who we are and how we operate. But being philanthropic is very personal. I think what has made our efforts at Shamrock so successful is that we take everyone’s input and ideas and passions—and then we provide opportunities for our employees to plug in and join in where they feel most compelled to help. 

As with any effort, there has to be leadership by example for it to really succeed. And we have that here. All of us at Shamrock—and at every level—take pride in being a part of our community efforts. It’s a source of camaraderie. The result is that, as a group, Shamrock has been able to make a big difference in the lives of many people who are in need. It’s a pretty satisfying feeling—and it’s also motivating.

If you’re looking for ideas to help get your own community involvement program off the ground, send me an email and I can connect you with some of the people here who do it best.

And if you’d like more information about the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, click on the link below.