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Volunteering as a company is a great way to create a meaningful impact in your community. Here are some things you can do as a business owner to encourage volunteerism at your company.

Make it a priority. Prioritizing volunteer opportunities sends a clear message to your employees on where your values lie. It demonstrates leadership as well as a dedication to the community you work in.

Choose a cause. It is important to pick something that aligns with your business’s interests or the interests of your employees. Check out volunteermatch.org for ideas on opportunities in Tucson.

Encourage new hires. Involve new hires in your volunteer opportunities to introduce them to your core values and build friendships with coworkers.

Incentivize. Consider offering paid volunteer time off to encourage employees to take the time to help their communities. Or hold a contest to see which employee can volunteer the most in a year, then match their contribution.

Be flexible. Have several volunteer opportunities on different days ready for employees who have busy schedules. Also, be open to new opportunities that your employees might want to try. 

Bring the opportunity to them. By bringing the opportunities to your place of business, you can increase the number of people that get involved. For example, blood banks will bring buses to you and host blood drives as long as you have the space and resources to host them. 

Participate in a walk. Walks are an easy way to get everyone together to rally around a specific cause. Cox Volunteers participate in fundraiser walks each year, such as the Arizona AIDS Walk.

Promote it. Employees are more likely to attend something they are excited about. Create email reminders with information about the organization’s mission and talk up the opportunity around the office.

Keep it local and convenient. Keeping it local and easy to get to can increase the number of people actively participating. It’s helpful to offer carpooling to local organizations from the office.

Walk the walk. It is crucial for you to join your team at volunteer events to show that you do care about this cause and the community. Consider joining the board of a local nonprofit to get further involved.

Autumn Van Den Berg is the Southern Arizona Manager of Community Relations for Cox Communications.