Some Thoughts on Corporate Social Responsibility
This coming Saturday, I will get up earlier than I like, head to the city, and walk in benefiting the Light of Life rescue mission. If you’ve read any of my blogs, you have likely stumbled across a reference to the mission. They serve the hungry and homeless in the city of Pittsburgh and my heart breaks each and every time I’m there. Whenever I am in the city, I bring extra $1s to hand out to the men and women on the street. I will apologize right now for all the times I’ve stopped traffic and rolled down my window to hand money or food to someone living on the street. (If you were behind me, I am truly sorry for the delay!) Light of Life serves those who are less fortunate. They do amazing work and, because that’s where my heart is, I’m thrilled to be able support them and those in need.
This particular event happens to fall on a Saturday, but even if they scheduled the walk for the workweek, I’d still be there. Found Advisors would support my efforts and pay for my time. One of our core values is Service and we define it as committing to “selflessly serving our clients, the business community, as well as those marginalized by society. We strive to impact the world we live and work in, in addition to serving the underprivileged and struggling populations in our community and around the world.” Sometimes that means we feed the homeless or send money to support a child in another country. At other times, it means we take a meal or a satchel from Satchels of Caring to a client struggling with cancer. Always, it means we work to make sure we put the interests of others before our own interests.
Corporate Social Responsibility takes on many forms. For some organizations, the focus is on the environment and sustainability. For others, they make the choice to be socially responsible because being a great place to work or a good corporate citizen improves their local and global reputation. At Found, we have discovered that it’s more than that. It’s the right thing to do. It forces us to take a look at our work, our clients, our community and the world with fresh eyes. “What can I do to help?” is a lot different mindset than “what’s in it for me?”. It starts with how we treat one another and ends with feeding the homeless. And everything in between is what makes us human; it connects us to each other in ways we never imagined.
There are many ways to serve the world around us and each organization will follow a different path. Being deliberate and intentional about the value of serving is key. Volunteering alongside a co-worker takes time away from the task at hand. Reaching out to a client during a financial or health crisis takes extra effort. But both create relationship. The benefit to service isn’t found in the balance sheet. The benefit to corporate social responsibility truly lies in the relationships developed and the impact we can have on our community and the world.