Balancing Community Impact with Business Growth | 3 Top Tips
Many businesses see the real value associated with supporting their wider community and balancing community impact with business growth. This is ingrained in the Salesforce ecosystem starting with Salesforce themselves who split their activities into Salesforce.org, looks after their Non-Profit and Education customers, and Salesforce.com, which looks after the others.
An issue that Salesforce.com have is trying to honour Salesforce.org's values while also managing the demands of a commercial business. This is something many companies both in the ecosystem and out struggle to balance
Here are some of our top tips for balancing community impact with business growth from our experiences.
1) Having an impact isn’t just about giving away
It’s simplistic to assume that having an impact is giving away money or time. At Pracedo we give away a minimum of 1% of our profits and time via the 1% Pledge, but we also make sure that we have an impact in other ways.
Your team could take part in fundraising activity such as a sponsored challenge. Pracedo recently took part in one with Salesforce and Natterbox where, as a team, we made the journey from London to San Francisco by walking, cycling or swimming.
You can also consider your impact around the environment and make sure that you offer washable mugs and reusable water bottles in your workplace to cut down on single-use plastic.
These ideas are especially helpful for small organisations or companies getting to grip with balancing community impact with business growth.
When you do donate your time to an organisation it doesn’t have to be for an entire project. It could be a discount from the total cost or you could donate enough time to make a meaningful impact such as speeding up a process, empowering users or recommending some self-help solutions.
2) You have to be profitable to be able to be impactful
At Pracedo we take part in a series of pro-bono projects every year. In 2019 we took part in more than 80 projects and donated around 1200 pro-bono hours. We wouldn’t be able to donate these hours if we didn’t also have the commercial side to support it. It’s important to acknowledge that your commercial activity is what gives you the ability to deliver discounted or pro-bono work.
You also need to treat your pro-bono work the same as you would any other project. It's essential that you track and monitor these programs to provide evidence of value and evidence of change. Don’t devalue your brand by not tracking and monitoring your impact.
3) Having an impact can have a real business value
Having an impact isn’t just about doing the right thing but it can also have a positive influence on your entire organisation.
'As the CEO of a for profit business with shareholders, the primary metrics need to be growth and profit. For some this may sound like that is the only thing that matters and should trump all other stakeholders and goals. This is not the case, study after study shows that businesses with happy employees, diverse workplaces, philanthropy and community stakeholder engagement are more likely to have higher margins than those that don't. Business growth and community impact should be a virtuous circle - the more successful your employees are the more successful your business is and the more you can give back to your community.'Matt Schutz (Pracedo CEO)
Employee happiness is directly linked to company success and more employees are choosing organisations based on their values such as diversity, inclusions, philanthropy and education. Read about how the Salesforce Talent Alliance helps us to use our values while recruiting and break down barriers in tech.
Not only will these strong values help you to recruit the best talent, but it will also help with job retention and customer satisfaction. At Pracedo, we give all our employees 3 paid days a year where they can help a charity of their choosing.
Having a diverse workplace and seeking to make an impact in that way also brings a wealth of talent into the organisation from different backgrounds. This creates a diversity of thought which we’ve found has really helped us to deliver consistently good projects.
The key to balancing community impact with business growth is making it a mutually beneficial relationship.