When Giving Away Money is Good for Business



R. Michael Prescott, Cincinnati market president of U.S. Bank

Profits are important for business – we all know that. So why would your company ever decide to give away precious resources like time and money?

When it benefits your community, you can’t afford not to.

Getting involved in the community is a no-brainer for many companies in the Cincinnati area, including U.S. Bank, where we provide up to 16 hours of paid time-off (based on longevity with the company) for employees to make a difference in the community.

It’s a win-win. We all know that community involvement helps burnish a company’s image. It’s important for prospective clients and employees to see that our company cares about how our neighborhoods look, feel and function, by sending our foundation dollars and our employee volunteers out into the community during charity walks and 5Ks, Habitat for Humanity builds and other events. Who would want to do business with a company that didn’t give back?

Community involvement is a boon to current customers and employees, too. It helps cultivate a sense of pride in working with the company and being able to point out to family and friends the good works that we help make possible. U.S. Bank employees can show off the flower beds around downtown Cincinnati that they helped plant during the Mayor’s Challenge, take in the annual Playhouse production of A Christmas Carol with their families, or volunteer in dozens of classrooms around the area with Adopt-A-Class, and more, knowing that their company fully supports (and matches financially) their donations of time and money.

And you know what? Community involvement goes much deeper than pointing to the U.S. Bank logo on a sponsorship list at a food drive. It’s about that feeling you get when you know you’ve done something for the greater good.

I’m talking about that feeling you get when you’re driving home from a park clean-up, your shoes caked with dirt and your family tuckered out, and you know that next time someone visits the park, it’ll be in great condition thanks to your effort.

I’m talking about the way your child looks at you when you tell her you helped build that Habitat for Humanity home you just drove by on the way to her soccer practice.

I’m talking about the camaraderie you feel after you’ve spent hours tagging rubber ducks with your co-workers for the Freestore Foodbank’s annual event.

It’s those special moments when we feel a connection to something bigger than ourselves, bigger than our careers, bigger than our 8-to-5 worries and to-do lists, that make community involvement so meaningful.

Whether you decide to give away your time, your money, or a combination of both, the Greater Cincinnati community will benefit, the individuals you help will benefit, your business’s image will benefit, and you will, too.

R. Michael Prescott is the president of the Cincinnati market for U.S. Bank.