We’ve been hearing a lot lately in the media about BNZ’s “Closed for Good” campaign … obviously a great little marketing initiative, but so much more than that too. It brings to light an important topic, and one which we often refer to as being a “good corporate citizen”. I, and indeed our team, feel strongly that investing in your community is a great way to give back to those who have helped support your business. Volunteer groups and non-profit organizations do so much to help the communities that all of us are a part of, but they can’t do it alone.
As successful members of the community, we have a responsibility to help those that are less fortunate, or perhaps facing unexpected hurdles, and to therefore contribute to the common good. Ultimately – everyone wins!
There are certainly tangible benefits to giving back to the community. – Raising your business’ profile – often even bringing you more clients and customers – and of course, if the level of monetary investment is enough, you’ll be able to use the charitable deduction on your income tax. But there are less tangible benefits too – most notably that sense of pride and purpose attached to “giving back” to the community, both as an individual and as part of a team, it is a pleasant feeling of connectedness and the satisfaction of trying to make the world, or at least your own community, a better place.
Many businesses include their charitable work in their advertising and marketing, adding copy such as “a percentage of sales will be donated to (specific charity)”, or leverage their marketing at charitable events. I’m sure, and in some scenarios more than others, potential clients and customers like the sense of being able to combine their decision to shop at, frequent, and support a business with knowing that this action helps others. I honestly believe in doing it “for the right reasons” – and I believe we at Allens have been fortunate to create, nurture and facilitate an environment where “giving” is a part of our everyday culture.
As a Company Director I am proud to be a part of a team who are passionate supporters of the Northland community. Our staff are involved in over a hundred community groups and events each year, – they are proud (and passionate) Northlanders… and as a locally owned and operated company we are also proud to be involved in our (Northland) community through supporting our team members, participating in, and also initiating our own community events including the following:
Allens Education Foundation
We’ve just awarded our annual Allens Education Foundation Scholarships. We established a charitable trust four years ago to create opportunities for the youth of Northland – enabling them, with financial assistance, to pursue their career goals. The company and our team members set aside an amount of money from every property sold to transfer to this trust for the creation of several yearly scholarships. These grants are then made available to secondary school leavers to support them in further study endeavours. Each year we receive around 100 applications from all across Northland (even as far north as Cape Reinga, and other areas… in which we don’t even have offices). This year I had the “unenviable” task of being a judge… I say this because there are so many inspiring youth coming through the education system – young kids who show sheer drive and determination that it is simply so hard to select only a small number to receive scholarships… if only we could support them all.
Allens Kids Triathlon
Another community event we initiated is the Allens (Northland) Kids Triathlon. This annual event held for the first time in 2004 is open to children between the ages of eight to fourteen. The event attracts up to 1,000 Northland children – plus thousands of supporters. As a family orientated company we are delighted to be playing a part in empowering the children of today to become healthy, fulfilled and successful adults of tomorrow. Not only are we involved financially but on the day our team also come together (often rising out of our of bed at an un-godly 5am) to make their way down to the course where they work as support crew. It is an important date in our office (and community) calendar and one that provides huge satisfaction (and indeed exhaustion) to everybody involved.
From our Allens Celebrity Cricket Match and Charity Auction (where we built a house, auctioned items and raised over $100,000 for North Haven Hospice) to the annual Street Appeal, sponsorship of Riding for the Disabled, printing of the Habitat for Humanity monthly newsletter, raising money for Loud Shirt Day, through to our latest fundraising efforts for the 2011 Northland Relay for Life – we take pride in balancing our passion for real estate with our passion for the community. All I can say to other businesses and professionals is: “Give what you can as a company, or as an individual, to the charities and events that make a difference to your local and national community. You may be surprised at the benefits you reap!”
Here are just a few shots of our team getting out there and getting involved – there’s plenty more on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/allensrealty
And, as referenced in our article here’s some info on BNZ’s “Closed for Good” Campaign,. Have a read, as BNZ are currently calling for submissions for causes and projects to get involved with – perhaps you can help them make a difference in your community.
BNZ Closed for Good
On March 9 2011 BNZ will be “Closed for Good” All around new Zealand, BNZ employees will be helping out on projects that benefit local communities. They are currently seeking submissions. Click through the their website: www.closedforgood.org to find out more.
How it Works: In 2009 BNZ helped with more than 500 different projects in our communities and on Wednesday, 9 March 2011, they are taking on the challenge once again. BNZ will be closing their stores ‘for good’ so that up to 5,000 of their staff can lend a hand on projects throughout the country.
Between now and 26 January BNZ will be looking for projects to work on. So if you or someone you know could use some help, make a submission and let them know what needs doing. You don’t need to be a BNZ customer to have your project chosen – but the project does need to be something that will benefit the community.