Do you aim to make a societal impact and strengthen the communities in which you live and work? A desire to create positive, enduring change in the world often starts right at home.
When like-minded business owners who care about their community come together great things can happen. It creates a synergy that ignites the change needed to make a difference – as well as business opportunities with a foundation of philanthropy. The success of a local business community and the work of charitable organizations go hand in hand.
One example of this symbiotic relationship is the South Florida-based Broward Sheriff’s Advisory Council, a nonprofit organization committed to supporting families of first responders that have been killed or critically injured in the line of duty. In 1985, the council’s inception was sparked by a group of business leaders that came together with a mission to protect those who protect us. Andy Mitchell, the current Chairman of the Board, is also the CEO of The Fairwinds Group, a real estate acquisition, development, and management firm.
When asked why community advocacy was important to him, Mitchell said, “Being actively involved means engaging yourself, your relationships, and the influence you have within the community to move people in a direction and get them to see things in a different light.”
“It can be time-consuming as you develop the thought process to help make a difference, but I think that is part of the big reward. It’s when you see change happen as a result of getting involved and encouraging others to get involved that it really comes together.”
One person in a community can make a slight difference. Yet when many people come together, that is when you can effect significant change. Connecting time, talent, and resources within your local business community can ensure change takes shape.
“The process of giving back might start small but can gradually be seen with positive results. It’s like water. It drips and drips until you get a swimming pool, and then pretty soon you have a lake,” he added.
As a community becomes stronger, the companies within it will thrive. Jason Ditkofsky, President of McNeill Signs, echoes this belief. “Being a part of a community means you’re in business to predominantly serve the members in it. Engaging with them shows that you care while also putting goodwill out there,” according to Ditkofsky.
“From an informational standpoint, if you don’t engage with your community, you don’t gain any information on how you can help and serve them better.”
Giving back is a common thread found in thriving communities. When the business community does well, they can further increase their philanthropic efforts among the community at large. This in turn elevates the community and makes it an even better place for business. It is a beautiful cycle of doing well and doing good at the same time. In the purest form, it is the ultimate win-win.
Connor David is a freelance writer based in South Florida covering topics around entrepreneurship, philanthropy, leadership, and more.
© YFS Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Copying prohibited. All material is protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this material is prohibited. Sharing of this material under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International terms, listed here, is permitted.