256 10 things businesses can do to encourage involvement

  1. Make it easier for parents to attend their children’s functions and identify opportunities for family volunteering. Youth-related activities are a main form of civic engagement for adults.
  2. Encourage employees to make donations to workplace campaigns.
  3. Allow flexible working hours so work schedules are more in line with school schedules.
  4. Encourage and pay for participation in business-related and professional associations, locally and nationally.
  5. Make it easy for employees to contribute to United Way and other charities. Set company goals for participation.
  6. Encourage employees to take walks or do other physical exercise and offer them time to do it.
  7. Understand different approaches to civic engagement and that people tend to specialize in the kind of engagement they want to do.
  8. Encourage employees to get involved in a community activity and give them flexibility in their work schedules to allow it.
  9. Endorse employee requests to coordinate activities such as Toys for Tots, food drives, blood drives and local festivals. Many people donate food, toys or clothing anyway. Hop on this bandwagon.
  10. Provide informal socializing opportunities for employees and provide friendly places for such interaction.

From Profile of Illinois: An Engaged State, the final report of the Illinois Civic Engagement Project, University of Illinois Springfield and United Way of Illinois, 2001. It was based on the first statewide survey of civic engagement in Illinois. For 68 recommendations (PDF) on how to get people more involved, see the complete report. Or see http://civic.uis.edu.

Posted on June 10, 2014