Greetings. Most companies talk about the importance of being good corporate citizens. And many are regularly involved in efforts to improve the communities they operate in. But I've been particularly excited over the last two years to watch one of our customers make social responsibility an innovative and "strategic" part of its business. The company is CGI Federal, a leading government contractor based in Fairfax, Virginia. It's core business is providing enterprise solutions and a wide range of essential managed services to Federal agencies, and it consistently earns high marks from customers for the quality of its work and the commitment of its people. But it's also earning high marks for its growing commitment to the community, based on a clear and engaging strategy for volunteering and giving that is driven by the interests of its employees–or "members" as it calls them.
At the heart of this effort is a belief that people want to make a difference and that a company can and should be a catalyst for creating meaningful opportunities to get involved and "give where they live." It's not only the right thing to do, but sound business practice. To do this, CGI Federal forged a unique partnership with the Catalogue for Philanthropy, a very special organization operating in the Washington, D.C. area, that identifies and promotes remarkable smaller nonprofits that are making a compelling difference in their communities. These organizations often operate under the radar of big corporations, individual donors, and potential volunteers. And, with limited resources, often have trouble getting the word out about their valuable work. So the Catalogue acts as their "seal of approval" and provides tools to help them raise funds and build their marketing and organizational capacity. In partnering with the Catalogue, CGI Federal made a financial contribution, but also organizes volunteer events for the Catalogue's "grantees," and has provided some of its top talent to redesign the Catalogue's website and many of the tools that are vital to these nonprofits. In addition, the company provides support to members involved in community organizations.
It's worth noting that CGI Federal sees community involvement as "a way of life" that is an important requirement for a new generation of workers who want to be part of improving their communities. The type of thoughtful members that smart companies would love to hire. And, the bottom-line benefits of corporate social responsibility are equally significant. They include:
Enhancing Recruitment Efforts–As word of CGI Federal's program spreads, it is becoming a real differentiator in attracting highly-motivated and concerned employees. And current members are even more eager to recruit their friends.
Aiding Retention–Current employees are more likely to stay in the company longer when they see that it cares about its clients and its community, and encourages them to be involved in local initiatives that matter.
Greater Employee Engagement–Increased job and personal satisfaction leads to greater engagement and an even greater commitment to customer success.
We win in business and in life by caring about those around us. And giving our members a chance to make a real difference in the lives of those in need. It's really no surprise that we do well by doing good.