Communities are more likely to get on board with initiatives backed by trusted area businesses.

Working in silos is a thing of the past—any recent business magazine, blog or social feed will confirm this. However, this notion of integration isn’t restricted to internal business structures, specific industries or technology platforms. When communities break down silos and connect values, organizations and businesses, their ability to take action and make a difference becomes incredibly powerful.  A true win-win is created where benefits can be reaped by all parties. Whether it’s strengthening identity, creating an ecosystem of mutual benefit or investing in the future, local businesses particularly are in an advantageous position to affect community change and be rewarded for doing so.

Community Identity

Seasoned businesses are key community stakeholders and contribute to the overall identity and personality of an area. When a business is looking for a cause to support, it’s wise to listen to what fellow businesses and clientele have to say to ensure philanthropic efforts will align with and benefit their neighborhood. Additionally, established and trusted local businesses who support a particular cause instill an element of faith and legitimacy in that initiative. Increase the number of businesses behind a mission and that sense of legitimacy also increases. If a favorite family-owned restaurant, doctor’s office and local employer all support a cause, loyal clientele and employees are much more likely to follow suit.

Ecosystem of Mutual Benefit

When a business and cause make a meaningful connection, it creates an ecosystem of mutual benefit—local causes benefit from the goods, services, expertise, and legitimacy a business can provide, while businesses can benefit from increased visibility and support. If an individual recognizes a company that donated supplies or services to their child’s school, they are likely to reach out to said company when they themselves are in need of those services. In fact, according to Forrester, more than 50 percent of consumers factor company values into their purchases, up from 43 percent in 2015, showing that more and more, people want to align with companies that are doing good.

This ecosystem of mutual benefit is only amplified when multiple companies band together. When an initiative has the support of multiple businesses, not only are donations more frequent and support stronger, but businesses also have a powerful network of various experts to call upon when needed. Additionally, businesses that support the same mission can connect with each other through their shared values and open the door to potential partnerships, referrals, and exchanging of goods and services.

An Investment in the Future

With four in 10 people remaining in their hometown their entire lives, businesses that support local causes and clientele are also supporting their future. Whether it’s improving a neighborhood’s physical surroundings for future generations to enjoy, or protecting future leaders and employees in local schools, businesses can equip their community, and in turn themselves, to prosper down the road. When a community flourishes, its members flourish, and when community members flourish, their trusted businesses flourish through sales, support and employment.

Danielle Myers is General Manager of Westerville-based Status Solutions. As a working mother and community advocate, Danielle is striving to strengthen K-12 schools through the School Solutions Network, a Central Ohio, community-based school safety initiative powered by Status Solutions. For more information, contact Danielle at dmyers@statussolutions.com.