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Is giving back part of your strategic objective?

Most businesses are built around a vision for profitability, the primary motivation being to develop a thriving client base and become more lucrative. Of course, these are key objectives in any business’s strategic plan. If, however, these are the sole objectives of your organization, you may be missing out on an opportunity to reach beyond “successful” to the ranks of “truly great.” In today’s world, giving back has become an essential component of business success.


Getting Started

Start by considering meaningful ways your team could be giving back. This could mean donating to food banks, offering pro bono services to worthwhile causes, or perhaps allowing your clients or employees to help you choose where to give back. There’s no shortage of opportunities once you start looking. In fact, organizations like Accountants for International Development (AfID) can often take care of the planning for you, while giving your employees a chance to travel and do good.

The Numbers Edge

One of the benefits of being an accountant is that you have a unique and valuable set of business skills to offer. And, with so many non-profits in desperate need of professional support and advice, a small amount of your time can often go a long way. So, consider offering to manage the books for your
favourite charity, or review their financial statements on a quarterly basis and offer your thoughts on strengthening their financial position. These might seem like simple things to you, but they can be huge to a small and struggling charity.

Networking for Good

Another significant asset that most accountants possess is their professional network. You many not think of it in this way, but the people you interact with on a daily basis can provide tremendous help to a worthwhile charity. For example, every organization needs legal advice, financing advice, and management advice from time to time. Chances are you work with people with these skills on a regular basis, putting you in a perfect position to connect those in need with those who can help.

Team Building

And, finally, an added and often unintended benefit of giving back is the positive impact it can have on your own corporate culture. Volunteering helps those in need, but when people work together on something they care about, relationships strengthen and work becomes more meaningful. Who doesn’t want to work in an organization like that?


Find a way to contribute that you and your team are truly passionate about. You’ll be glad you did. The opportunities for giving—and receiving—are limitless.



About The Author

Mark Wardell is president of Wardell Professional Development Inc., an advisory group specializing in growth management for owner-managed companies.