Many Australians are keen to give back to their communities. But whether on the individual or organisational level, they’re not sure how – or why it really matters.
Here, we’re sharing why and how you can give back to your community in ways that truly make a difference.
Why Giving Back to the Community Matters
First, let’s go over why you might want to give back to the community in the first place.
Improve Your Health
Did you know that helping the community can actually improve your health? Giving back helps give people a sense of purpose, offering more meaningful experiences. It’s fulfilling to know you’re contributing to the greater good.
When you have a sense of purpose, people tend to be both physically and mentally healthier. From stress relief to a strong sense of social bonding, the health benefits of giving back to your community are impossible to ignore.
So, whether you’re an individual, entrepreneur or you have a team of staff, you can give everyone’s health a boost when you give back.
Broaden Your Network
Whether volunteering at a senior centre or planting a tree in the community garden, spending time in your community helps broaden your network and is a fantastic way to get to know your neighbours.
You’ll have the opportunity to meet lots of new people who can help both in your personal and professional endeavours.
Regardless of whether you’re a business owner or not, it’s important to build your local network in a genuine way. And what better way to broaden your horizons than by helping the community.
Feel More Connected
When you contribute to the community, you’ll also have the benefit of feeling more connected to others. Even in a big city, it’s easy to feel isolated. When you give back to the community, you’ll get the chance to feel more connected to the bigger picture.
It’ll also help you to have more empathy for people in different circumstances to yours, giving you a more open-minded perspective and ultimately, making you a better person.
Additionally, from a professional perspective, when you’re more connected to the larger community, it can help with team-building for your staff as well as boost your brand in the local area.
While the reason for giving back should come from a place of purpose, it’s also important to note that the more connected you are in the community, the better business is likely to be.
4 Ways of Giving Back to the Community
Now that we understand why contributing to your local area matters, let’s talk about how to help the community both as an individual and a business owner.
One of the most obvious ways to give back to the community is by volunteering. You can volunteer in your community in many different ways including:
- At a senior centre
- With children
- At a homeless shelter
- In a non-profit organisation
- At a community garden
If you’re highly skilled, you might also offer your professional services to a non-profit or friend on a volunteer basis – simply for the sake of helping out and giving back.
For businesses, there are also opportunities to volunteer as a team. Sign up for charity runs or volunteer as a group serving at soup kitchens. It can be a team-building activity and a community-focused experience all in one.
Hire Local Staff
The next way to give back to your community is by hiring local staff. These days with so many companies having the ability to hire remote teams from all over the world, it pays off in many ways to hire your staff locally.
Of course, for in-person positions like baristas or trade workers, local staff is a necessity. But taking a more community-centric approach is what we really mean here. So, instead of posting a job on a huge, international job site, go for local job boards like Ask the Market instead.
You might also simply reach out to your network and call on your community to see who might be the right fit for open positions – aiming to hire people you know first and foremost.
The reason communities are so important is because we rely on each other. Globalisation and remote work are incredible features of the modern world but they can also separate us from our local communities. In short, if you’re looking for staff, hire within your community.
Another way to give back to your community is to prioritise sustainability, both as an individual and as an organisation.
On the individual level, you can do things like recycling, composting or travelling locally instead of overseas. All of these things (and many more) can help you on your way to a more sustainable future on your own.
As an organisation, you can do your part to implement sustainable business practices such as achieving carbon neutrality or transitioning to renewable energy.
Sustainability is important not only for your local communities but the global community as well. After all, our communities won’t exist if we don’t all do our parts to take care of the environment on both individual and collective levels.
Support Local Businesses
Last but not least, contributing to the community can also be supporting local businesses. When you support a local business, you’re supporting your neighbours. So, if you’re looking for opportunities to give back, supporting local businesses is a wonderful place to start.
Local businesses are run by real people who live in your area. These businesses rely on their communities to help them survive. Since the local economy is often overlooked, supporting local businesses is an easy way to truly support the people in your area.
Whether you choose the local cafe over Zarraffa’s or call your local plumber over big-name trade services, supporting local businesses is a simple switch that can make a huge difference in your community.
Local Businesses That Give Back to the Community
Even the smallest businesses can do their part to support their local community. Whether you choose to opt for greater sustainability or hire local staff, here are a few ways local businesses are giving back to the community.
Helios Energy Specialists
Helios Energy Specialists is on a mission to ensure all communities have access to sustainable resources. The company also spearheads efforts that are aiming to cure disease and fight poverty.
In these ways, Helios Energy Specialists are not only looking after their local communities in terms of environmental threats but they’re also contributing to the community through charitable endeavours.
Fyrepower Fire Protection
To do their part to contribute to the community, Fyrepower Fire Protection is locally owned and operated on the Gold Coast – meaning they only hire local staff.
Their commitment to hiring locals brings new employment opportunities to people in their community while fostering more tight-knit personal and professional relationships for the business.
It’s clearly important to Fyrepower Fire Protection to not only serve their community as a local business but also to give back to that same community by hiring local staff.
Interested in supporting your community by hiring local staff? Use Ask the Market to post a job request in your area. Sign up today!