Below is Matt Hodgson’s take on corporate social responsibility and volunteering
The Business of Social Responsibility
The holiday season is the time when many of us think on a personal level of helping those who are less fortunate. At Hodgson, we try to carry this over to our corporate practices throughout the year. Over the past few years, I have spoken internally to our team about the importance of being a business that is socially responsible, of doing what we can, when we can, to help those who need help.
Of course, talk is cheap.
A number of years ago we decided to forego our annual holiday party and instead donate the money we would have spent on the party to the Montgomery County Infants and Toddlers Program. They used the money to buy Giant Food Gift Cards, allowing families to have a holiday meal who might otherwise not have been able to. The first year, our contribution was just a few hundred dollars; this year the amount was $2,000.
Last month we completed volunteer teaching a six-week Adult Computer Literacy class on the basics of how to use a computer. For most of our students, English is their second language, and their primary access to a computer is at their local library. When we started, many were afraid of the keyboard. After just one evening a week for six weeks, they were creating resumes in MS Word. I am thrilled to say that registration for a new 12-week class has been filled, and we are building on skills we instilled during our first semester.
A recent McKinsey survey shows that 84% of all executives agree that companies should pursue not only shareholder value but also a broader contribution to the public good. So, if you are among the majority that believes in the business side of social responsibility, let me put in a plug for a worthwhile organization. Recently, I was named to the Board of the Corporate Volunteer Council–Montgomery County (CVC–MC), and through my work on the Board I have learned of hundreds of opportunities to volunteer right here in our community. It takes very little effort to make a very significant impact. If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Corporate Volunteer Council, or if you’d just like to help out, please visit these websites: Montgomery County Volunteer Center or Corporate Volunteer Council of MC.
At Hodgson, our mission is to be considered by employees and clients as a company that conducts itself with true sincerity and integrity—reaching out to the greater community is in complete accord with how we operate.