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How Community Involvement Can Boost Your Bottom Line And Making Sure Your Money Is Put To Work.

When deciding on what my article would be for this our 10th Anniversary of  CASA of Venango County. I was reminded at a monthly meeting at the small community chapel in Henry’s Bend, that donations were needed for the Annual Raffle held each year in July. I quickly spoke up and said that I would donate the Lottery Basket as I have in years past. But when I got home I thought could I do more, should I do more? Each year, we file a report card on our financial lives. It tells us what we earned, a bit about what we saved, some details on what we own and often includes a tally of our generosity. Now I know that most of us don’t read their tax returns this way, most of us look at the refund we are getting or in some cases what we need to pay to the federal government; but this got me to think about my families giving. Many who will be reading this article know that for most of my adult working life I have only worked for nonprofits. So yes I know too well about giving and receiving. But I thought I need to take a closer look. Dig deeper, ask people why they give of their time and there money and I even asked a few people I know why they don’t give.

So here is what my informal person to person chats found out:

Many who donate or who are donating want to make sure their money is put to work for the betterment of the community.

One of the biggest goals of many in the Millennial Generation that I spoke with said they want to devote a higher percentage of their charitable money to projects that their dollars could materially change or save lives.

Many of them want to build relationships with the non-profits within their community.

They explained to me that they look at the community as a whole to see what's important: Are the schools struggling? Does the animal shelter need donations? Are there children who are in need of help?

For the Millennia's who don’t give regularly, stated they were upset at the salaries of larger non-profits, it seemed to them that the money they "might" give would just go to the personal salary and not the project need.

Now for the business in the community, I know many businesses view the non-profit community as a "pain in the butt". But believe it or not we are a business and there are some of "us" who are not always looking for a donation. We buy local, we take volunteers and staff out to lunch locally, we use caters, we pay for printing, paper, letterhead, business cards, my list could go on and on. When I am buying, either for the office or personally, I look and see if that local company gives back to their community, it doesn’t have to be CASA– however I must admit that is a bonus in my book.

So here are some thoughts on how maybe "giving" can make your business grow. I personally like knowing about how a business in my community is making the world a better place. I love walking into an establishment and seeing plaques of a major donation to a tee-ball team or community event. I feel that businesses benefit from those donations by building genuine connections with their customers, because a customer may have attended that event or even donated to that event.

Also if your employees have an avenue to give back to their community this will help build morale and builds a collaborative and inspired team. We all know when you or your employee love what they're doing, they do a better job, so maybe offer employees an opportunity to volunteer during work hours or participate in get-togethers after work such as a fundraiser dinner. Volunteering could lead to leadership opportunities for employees, which leads to increased staff performance and fulfillment and, ultimately, increased productivity and sales. So why not develop a volunteer plan with in your company. Evaluate your business and employees strengths and select volunteer activities that draw upon those strengths to decide how much time your employees can volunteer through the business on an annual basis, taking into account your operation demands. For example, if you own a restaurant, consider catering a non-profits staff/board/volunteer meeting to show your appreciation for that group. This may open the door to future catering opportunities, an incremental way to increase revenue. Another way is if you own a large company and can make a monetary donation to help a non-profit with unforeseen budget cuts or help sponsor events celebrating volunteer accomplishments with in your community. Then make sure you let current and prospective customers know what you're giving back by including this information on your website, Facebook Page, and twitter account. I suggest putting a dollar amount of how much your donated time or services would normally cost next to the number of hours your employees have spent giving back so it's easy for customers to understand how much your company gives to the community.

Of course all this talk about giving does have a point, CASA of Venango County is launching its capital campaign – Friends of CASA – you can donate to CASA & SUPPORT CASA of Venango County. Your support helps by defraying training costs and other expenses so volunteers and staff can continue to advocate for the children of Venango County in court . Your donation will also help increase public awareness of the problem of child abuse and neglect in Venango County through various programs and events.

Thank you in advance for your support,

                         Cinnamon Sue

   A CASA is an official part of judicial proceedings, working alongside attorneys and foster care case managers. By handling only one case at a time the CASA has time to thoroughly explore the history of each assigned case. The CASA role is comprised of advocating, investigating, facilitating, and monitoring. This is accomplished by talking to the child, parents, family members, neighbors, school officials, doctors and others involved in the child's life or family's life at one time or another who might have facts about the case. The volunteer reviews all court facts and documents pertaining to the case. The CASA helps to facilitate a collaborative relationship between all parties on the case. He/she submits written reports including recommendations as to the best interest of the child/children to the Judge at every scheduled hearing. The CASA continues involvement with the child/children in the case to assure that the judicial and child welfare systems are moving ahead to secure a safe, permanent home for the child/children and that court-ordered services are provided to them and the family. Each volunteer assigned to a case is supervised by one of the program's staff to assure consistency in volunteer activities and as a resource and guide in the complexity of child welfare proceedings.



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Oil City, PA
Updated Friday, March 06, 2015 12:35 AM
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See the events page for more upcoming Fundraisers.