Serve Vermilion

Serve Vermilion is an initiative of VEDA, in partnership with area public entities and non-profit organizations.

It’s likely that if you’re in business you’ve been asked to give something to a charitable or civic organization. Maybe it was a donation, an auction item, or your time. It can be overwhelming to decide how and when to give, not to mention who you’ll share your hard-earned dollars with. In fact, I know several businesses that have a blanket “no” for all that come knocking, but did you know how good giving back could be for your business? Some of America’s best places to do businesses know the reasons, but do you?

Here are just a few ways that giving back can be good for your business. These perks are hard to ignore:

  1. It engages your employees: Want to motivate your workers? Allow them to help pick a cause that they have a connection to, what do they care about? Encourage them participate at all levels. Maybe it’s collecting canned goods or adopting a highway or volunteering at the local soup kitchen. Not only will you lift spirits in the community, but you’ll also build camaraderie and build excitement among your staff. You can also spot your teammates with the best leadership potential, organizational skills and ability to motivate. Looking to promote someone from within? Look no further! And remember, a happy employee tends to stick around and produces results!
  2. It builds brand recognition: Perhaps your product or service has a limited audience, or you don’t have the budget to tap into new buyers. Sponsorship can expose your name to a whole new group of people. You build instant rapport because you align with their values and efforts, and in today’s world, that’s critically important in capturing new business. Today’s emerging millennial purchasers want to feel good about how they’re spending their money. What better way to connect with them than to share in something they care about?
  3. It generates positive PR: Public relations can be a tricky and expensive thing when done correctly, but when giving is concerned you get all of the results with very little headache. Many non-profits will offer press coverage in exchange for participation and are happy to hail you as the hero. Don’t be surprised if you end up in the paper, slathered on social media, and at the head table at an event. Community organizations need you and they’re happy to thank you publicly. If recognition is not your thing, simply communicate that on the front end and most folks are happy to oblige. Giving should be genuine and personal, so feel free to keep your donations anonymous and still get the benefits of being connected to the do-gooders in the community.
  4. It strengthens the economy: Whether you’re talking about serving the less fortunate, or injecting art into a blighted area, philanthropy and service projects often have a positive impact on the economy. Organizers purchase supplies, the needy are given more opportunities, and undesirable properties and projects are injected with new life. All of these things inspire and require investment in community businesses and residents. It builds buying power and supports your already-existing efforts to drive revenue to local business. What a cool way to impact your own bottom line!

So, are you interested? Great! We want you to have every opportunity to help a local civic or charitable organization and reap the benefits of doing so. For that reason, we’ve partnered with the Christian Service Center to create a Vermilion Parish Community Organization Directory. Once it’s published you can use it as a “giving guide” or way to access service opportunity right here at home.

Join us at the Christian Service Center (701 Chevis Street, Abbeville) from 12-1 pm on Thursday, September 13th for Lunch with Friends to hear more about this initiative. In the meantime, if you’re part of a group and want to be featured in the guide*, fill out our online form here: https://tinyurl.com/servevermilion. We look forward to working together to #serveVermilion and #developVermilion one business and organization at a time!

*The guide will be limited to Vermilion Parish based/located organizations that have volunteer or giving opportunities or provide a public service, but all are welcome to submit!

Call Anne at Vermilion Economic Development Alliance (337) 740-0433 if you have any questions and we look forward to seeing you at lunch!