Instead of making a big donation to charity, have you ever considered that many small acts of charity and kindness could have an enormous benefit to those you help?
I had one employee who would never give money to panhandlers; rather, they always kept a case of Costco bottled water in their car. Whenever they saw someone who was homeless or panhandling, they’d give them a bottle of water.
Forty-eight bottles in a case? That’s 48 people who could be helped.
I saw a lady on a television show who collects and saves all the toiletries from hotels. She puts together “Blessing Bags,” giving the toiletries to the homeless and needy in her town. Again, a small gesture that makes a huge difference.
Law firms don’t have to have a grand plan to get involved with charity and help others.
Something as simple as getting your staff to volunteer once a week at the local soup kitchen or food bank can have numerous benefits.
First, you’re helping people. Second, anyone who helps is going to feel good about it. Third, without bragging or advertising your charitable work, word will still spread.
If your law firm staff began to volunteer regularly at a soup kitchen, here’s what could happen:
- You’ll start to network and outreach to provide more or better quality food. So, people will hear that you’re involved with the soup kitchen.
- The other volunteers will see your staff volunteering – and your firm asking for nothing in return. They’ll start to tell people.
- The more often your employees volunteer, the better they’ll get to know the other volunteers and those in need. Over time, your employees will end up talking about your law firm.
- While your staff are volunteering, they’ll start to hear some good news stories – and some hard-luck stories. If they share them on social media, whether to spread good news or to solicit help, more people will learn about your law firm.
Play to their Strengths
Deciding to help with a social enterprise like a soup kitchen could get every member of your team involved and in a way that plays to his or her strengths.
Who’s the best cook in your office? Perhaps they could prepare a dish each week, with your firm paying for the ingredients.
Who’s the most friendly, outgoing person in your office? Perhaps they could volunteer to serve the food on the line and make friends with those in need.
Who’s the quiet, diligent hardworker in the office who keeps to themselves? Perhaps they’d be the right person to regularly put together some “Blessing Bags.”
Who’s the best organizer in your office? Perhaps they could organize a collection of clothing for those less fortunate, whether it’s donated fresh underwear or an assortment from Goodwill.
Don’t Be In-Your-Face
Whatever you decide to do, I strongly advise against any in-your-face branding for your law firm. You’re there to help people. If you make what you’re doing all about helping others – not promoting your law firm – people will start talking about your law firm. So, go easy with the law firm stickers!
I’ve said before when you demonstrate that your law firm is about something more than just making money, you build your reputation in your community.
There are other ways you can make a difference. For example, you could buy a batch of warm overcoats for those people who unfortunately live on the streets or you could arrange facilities for them to get a hot shower.
The things that you and I take for granted are the same things you can gift to others – and make a huge difference in their lives. Do it because you want to and because you care, and I promise you’ll see a benefit for your law firm.