By Jay Madary,
President and CEO of JVM Realty
Apartment operators have an array of responsibilities.
They have to provide great service to their residents and investors, of course. Creating a healthy, supportive environment for associates is crucial as well. But the list of commitments doesn’t end there.
Apartment companies, like businesses in every industry, also have a responsibility to serve the communities in which they operate. That includes contributing to local non-profits and volunteering to help charitable organizations fulfill their mission of helping others.
At JVM, we take this responsibility to serve our community very seriously, simply because it is the right thing to do. We have been fortunate to build a very successful company at JVM, and feel a strong sense of duty to dedicate our time and resources to those in less fortunate circumstances.
Are there ancillary benefits for our company because of our commitment? Yes. Among them are:
A rewarding and bonding experience for associates
Giving back to your community not only helps those who are less fortunate, it can be very rewarding to team members and the company as a whole. Seeing the impact you can have on others through volunteering can help you see life from a whole new perspective. Doing so with other team members can bring you all closer together, creating a special bond that you will share forever, knowing that you worked as a team to help those in need.
At JVM, we encourage and empower our associates to give back in a couple of ways. Through our Corporate Gift Matching Program, we provide a dollar-to-dollar match to our associates’ donations to eligible charities, up to $500 per associate per year.
Additionally, we offer our associates one paid day off from work each year to volunteer with an eligible organization. This day does not count against their vacation time.
The Northern Illinois Food Bank, Marklund Home, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Ronald McDonald House are some of the charities JVM and our associates have supported through various initiatives over the years.
Enriched relationships within the community
Charitable work creates a reservoir of good will in the surrounding community. When local government officials, nearby businesses and area homeowners hear about your company’s commitment to the community, your relationships with them are enduring.
If our business benefits as an outgrowth of our commitment, of course we are pleased. But the giving itself is enough for us.
Millennials, who represent the largest portion of JVM associates and residents, are a compassionate generation, deeply committed to improving the world around them. Being associated with a company that contributes to the greater good is important to them.
Statistically, 63 percent of millennial women and 45 percent of millennial men say their decisions about job offers are impacted by the employer’s corporate social responsibility work (CSR), according to the Six-Month Research Update to Achieve’s 2014 Millennial Impact Report.
Similarly, 87 percent of millennials say their purchasing decisions are influenced by a company’s CSR efforts, according to the 2015 Cone Communications Millennial CSR Study.
While these ancillary benefits are nice, the real reason a business should give back bears repeating: it’s the right thing to do. That’s our only motivation for doing so. Anything else is gravy.
There are many wonderful not-for-profit organizations providing a tremendous service to the people in our communities. It is our responsibility to support these causes with our time, labor and money, and extending a helping hand to those in need is a responsibility that JVM will always honor.