There are a variety of ways in which giving back to the community, both local and global, are beneficial:
1. Giving back can foster growth in a company or for an entrepreneur by providing an opportunity to listen and learn from the community (what it wants, and what it needs, and what it means to give). The act of giving back doesn’t have to proceed without thought of what the company needs or even what the company desires to give. Developing a standard policy about the causes you’re willing to donate to and support will allow the charities and organizations that approach you to be in support of your commitment.
The conversation can grow beyond guilt and into one of support. When it comes to listening to the community your business or organization might serve (be it a specific location or a certain demographic) you become more informed by the goals and needs of the community you’re attempting to serve and can tailor future projects towards these goals and needs.
2. An obvious benefit of giving back is that it helps the community, whether the help is on a global scale (foreign aid donations, clothing/food/etc. donations in the wake of natural disasters, or volunteer work) or a local one (donating food to a food bank, volunteering to help students after school, or aiding in cleaning up local waterways), the community improves.
Especially when aid involves helping others make progress beyond the limits of economic, educational, or social blockades. While the changes may be more difficult to grasp on a global level, at the local level the progress made is also visible. Which leads to…
3. Giving back, especially on an individual level (such as tutoring, mentoring a child or volunteering in a soup kitchen), is good for your health. Depending on the work one is doing: physical health can be improved by increased activity, regulated sleep schedules, and better sleep in general, stress relief, and can help reduce the risk of certain health problems, like heart attacks and strokes.
There are studies that show volunteer work can make people happier by boosting not only physical health but also by promoting social interactions and of course the good vibes that come from contributing to the community. This potentially happier and healthier mindset promotes a desire to give back more.
4. Maybe you’re looking for a career change or a career boost, a volunteer opportunity would be a great and beneficial way to begin. Whether you’re writing grants in your spare time or building houses, volunteering is work.
It takes and builds skills and understanding and provides the professional or someone just starting out with a network of people just as invested as they are in the progress of whatever project is in the works. In similar fashion, volunteer work provides a foothold into and gives one a stake in the community
5. Having a stake in the community means coming in contact with community members who may often be overlooked, ignored, or outright scorned depending on their situations. This works both on a local and global scale.
It’s easier to see why more needs to be done on a legislative level if one can see that even with aid programs there are still limits to what someone working full-time or someone on disability or someone without running water, electricity, the list goes on, is capable of doing when the law ignores, fails to protect, or actively works against them.
Meeting other members of your community may also be as simple as visiting a retirement community with your dog or helping out in the community garden. Whatever you end up doing you’re getting a better understanding of the community of which you are a part and its needs.
– The Borgen Project
Sources: Huffington Post, Southern Alpha