“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” These famous words by Winston Churchill speak to the importance and fulfillment we receive when we give back to our communities and local environments. Giving back doesn’t require excess money to make a big donation or spending an entire weekend volunteering for a cause; rather, there are countless ways to get involved in your own community that not only create a better place to live, but can also benefit yourself or the place you work.

When you get involved in community service, the benefits to your community may be readily apparent, but what many fail to see are the numerous personal benefits that one gets from their good deed, such as:

  1. Networking – we all know how important it is to have connections, both personal and professional. But how often do you get an opportunity to meet new people in a fun and productive setting? By getting involved in your community, you not only get to meet new, local people, but you also have the chance to develop friendships and networking opportunities.
  2. Ownership – by getting involved in your community, it can drive you to feel a part of something bigger than yourself. Often times when you are an active member of the community, you will be looped in to new projects or community ideas. By offering your voice or opinion on these things, you not only bring a new perspective to the table, but it can also make you an important part of the process.
  3. Civic Duty – establishing your role within the community and making connections with those around you can give you value as an individual. By working together for a common goal, it encourages camaraderie, friendship and a better place to live and work. This drives a shared sense of accountability and responsibility for the area where you live.
  4. Learning – giving back to your community can teach you new skills or bring out abilities you may not have even realized you had. Since you may be pretty well set in your day job, this is a great chance to try new things, gain knowledge and experience that may come in handy later in life.
  5. Feels Good – it’s no secret that you often receive a sense of fulfillment when you give back to your community, in any shape or form. But what’s often overlooked is how this can increase your self-esteem and give you a positive boost in life. So, becoming an active member in your community can actually increase your overall quality of life.   

Don’t forget, community involvement can be fun! Whether you’re running a 5K with a friend or getting the whole family out for an art walk, the important thing is to stay involved in your local events. For an easy reference, here is our local community calendar you can check out. We hope to see you there!

But it doesn’t stop at the individual level. It is just as important for businesses to give back in order to build strong communities and local environments. Now more than ever, we value businesses that make corporate social responsibility a priority and take the necessary actions to be a valuable contributor to society. In fact, 82% of U.S. consumers stated that they consider corporate social responsibility efforts when deciding which products or services they buy and where they shop.(1) Furthermore, 75% of Millennials say they would even take a pay cut simply to work for a responsible company.(2) And it’s no wonder we see a rise in socially responsible investments (SRI) that also support this notion of giving back to the environment and the greater good. There is a clear trend toward making socially conscious decisions, and if you are not on board, you may be missing the mark.
In addition to benefiting society, there are also several other benefits to an organization that establish their role within the community. Here is how:

  1. Company Image – although many people will recognize a company based on their logo, brand colors or imagery, now many people will factor in corporate social responsibility initiatives as an indicator of a brand image as well. By getting involved in local communities, it proves that a company encourages strong community ties and values the local environment.
  2. Customer Loyalty – in addition to the brand image of the company, getting involved in the community can also drive customer loyalty. Not only is it a great opportunity for networking and meeting potential new clients, it is also a great time for current clients and employees to get out of the office and engage with each other. This can drive retention and referrals, and is just another reason why someone may be a loyal customer.
  3. Reputation – establishing a company’s role in supporting their local community can also have a positive impact on its reputation. In fact, some customers even say they would pay higher prices for companies with strong community ties. This goes to show how important giving back is in the mind of the consumer. By promoting the importance of shared values, it proves the mission of the organization and its core values.  
  4. Fun – as wonderful as many offices are, it’s always refreshing to get out and do something fun. Getting involved in the community is not only beneficial to society, but it also encourages happier employees. In turn, happier employees tend to stay longer and can positively impact the business.
  5. Visibility – the more your business is out in the community, the more people have the opportunity to see it. This additional exposure can be another form of advertising that isn’t a direct cost.

It’s these reasons and more why ISU Credit Union has made it a top priority to form and invest in Teal Team VI. Inspired by the honorable SEAL Team Six, this dedicated effort encourages and gives employees the opportunity to get involved with both ISU Credit Union and community-based efforts on a volunteer basis. It’s this foundation that gives us a sense of balance and commitment back to our communities at large.
Here are some of the ways ISU Credit Union keeps involved in the local community:

  • John McCarthy Golf Tournament – Support SD #25 Student Activities Fund
  • Costco Shop Night – ISU Back to school
  • 4th of July Parade
  • ISU Homecoming Parade
  • City Wide Spring Community Cleanup (Pocatello)
  • Welcome Back Orange & Black (College Welcome Back - Fall Event)
  • 2017 Member Appreciation Event at Pebble Creek
  • 2017 Festival of Trees Poky/IF
  • Revive @ 5 - Pocatello
  • 2017 Celebrate Idaho State
  • ISU - I Love ISU Scholarship Drive
  • Chubbuck Days Parade
  • Arbor Day Tree planting - Idaho Falls
  • Light Parade - Old Town Pocatello
  • Idaho Falls Chukars Game
  • Stamp Out Hunger (IF)
  • Foodbank Annual Help – Backpack Program
  • and more!

We’ve all been told how important it is to live a balanced life with a healthy diet and regular exercise, but in addition to that, you should consider the benefits of getting involved and giving back to your community. From an individual level to the businesses you work for and shop at, let’s form an engaging, loving and beautiful place to live and work, together.  

(1) https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/226974
(2) https://solutions.yourcause.com/csr-stats-infographic/