If you follow our social media channels, you’ve probably seen signs of our agency’s charity and nonprofit activity — general fundraisers, auctions, team-oriented events and outings. Each year, Two Rivers Marketing associates select three “official” charity/nonprofit partners for the year. Those have included Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Special Olympics, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Make-a-Wish and United Way, and those selected get full support of the entire agency. The end goal is of course to raise cash donations, but we provide in-kind agency work as well. We particularly enjoy those we can rally associates around, having them donate personal and work time to help organizations and those who benefit from them — the most rewarding part. We get to spend time with each other and some tremendous individuals who love that we’re there … and we love being there. Just welcome a Special Olympics athlete to the finish line with a high-five, and you’ll see what we mean.
Few people would ask us why we give back to the community. The better question is, “Why wouldn’t we?”
We are thankful to have built a strong business in Des Moines, and this community has come out in droves to support us in time of need. Many of our associates grew up here and will raise their own families here. We put our associates first, and they have shown they want to support our community and several organizations that are near and dear to them. In fact, our support doesn’t stop with those “official” three nonprofits for the year. Associates are encouraged to get involved with all types of organizations, serve on boards and donate whatever they can. We even want associates to ask the agency for in-kind support for any organization they have a stake in, which we’ll gladly offer when we can. All of this is simply the right thing to do as a good community citizen. Sure, ours is more of an emotional approach and not really a business-case approach. But, if necessary, we could indeed make a business case as well:
Community betterment: All of this makes the community a great place to live and work — which in turn helps attract and maintain a reliable group of associates, generating productivity, quality and profitability.
Employee volunteer activity: Studies show that individuals actively involved in community investment activities are significantly more likely to find their work interesting and will recommend employment at their company to friends and family. (Research International)
Community organization involvement: Having high representation in key local and regional organizations can enable us to gather business information and help influence local associations, government agencies and business groups to assist us when needed.
Organizational charity/cause involvement: Supporting causes and charities that are close to our associates and customers will improve morale and respect internally and externally. Our associates are proud to be part of an organization that supports charitable involvement, and our clients are proud to do business with an agency that is charitable.
Education involvement: Partnerships with schools enable us to drive curriculum and help cultivate and attract the next generation of associates. Consider how long it takes to find good employees when you need them. Any organization could use a reliable feeder system of smart, educated individuals, particularly in related fields.
The business benefits are additional for us. Supporting the organizations that need help or are critical to our community’s future is simply right … and good … and inspiring. And we believe that if we’re in a position to serve our community, why wouldn’t we?
Emotional case or business case, everyone wins.