Giving Back to the Community: How to Engage Your Team and Get Involved Within the Communities You Serve

Happiness can be found in many ways, but one study shows that giving back to the community and helping others is a sure way to feel these endorphins. According to Jason March and Jill Suttie, “a 2006 study by Jorge Moll and colleagues at the National Institute of Health found that when people give to charities, it activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust, creating a “warm glow” effect. Scientists also believe that altruistic behavior releases endorphins in the brain, producing the positive feeling known as the “helper’s high.”’


Stats show that more and more people want to support and work for companies that give back to the community. The multifamily industry touches many lives and therefore, there are many opportunities for community involvement programs. The experts at P.B. Bell have compiled a few tips on how to give back to the community within your organization and at your multifamily communities: 


Identify Ambassadors 

A good first step in community involvement programs and giving back to the community is to designate a community ambassador or a team of ambassadors. At P.B. Bell, we have a committee called Culture Club. In addition to their core responsibilities of communicating our company values, these individuals come together on a biweekly basis to organize social and charitable company events as well as recognize employees who go above and beyond and exemplify P.B. Bell values, including one of our values “Show You Care.”  


Get Involved With Your Local Multifamily Association 

The Arizona Multihousing Charitable Foundation (AMCF) is the philanthropic arm of the Arizona Multihousing Association (AMA). The AMA believes in giving back to the community through charities that impact their members and residents. This helps companies that give back to the community identify relevant causes. P.B. Bell has an AMCF ambassador who communicates and organizes all AMCF efforts at our properties and at the corporate office. Since 2005, the AMCF Big Hearts Committee and dedicated members of the AMA have raised over $1.2M in community involvement programs to support local and statewide charities. Members of the AMCF Big Hearts Committee host annual fundraising events such as the Bowl-A-Thon, Car Raffle, Silent Auction, Dollar-A-Door campaign and more. They believe by working together as an industry, we can and will make a difference.


AMA also offers a 5 Star Program, designed to help reduce criminal activity, improve safety, as well as unite community organizations and individuals. Project S.A.F.E. (Safety Awareness Family Education) is an onsite event component which focuses on educating residents on important safety issues through community partnership. Guest speakers and partners might include the local fire department, YMCA, police department, pest control company, animal shelter, swim school and city parks and recreation.


Support Local Community Efforts and Current Events 

An easy way for those learning how to give back to the community is to stay on top of current events and identify opportunities to support immediate and seasonal needs, such as disaster relief, pandemic relief, back to school drives, homeless aid, food and clothing drives and toy drives. Reach out and connect with nearby schools and non-profit organizations regarding needs and ask how you can get involved. Invite employees, residents, and vendors to participate and contribute to your cause. The opportunities to give back to the community are endless and can be catered to your company values.


Organize and Offer All Employees Volunteer Opportunities

From community manager and maintenance technician to corporate accountant and I.T. specialist, the various positions and numerous property locations within a multifamily organization can sometimes make it difficult to see or engage with fellow colleagues. At P.B. Bell, we’ve found that organizing community involvement programs where all employees are invited to join during a workday has been very successful. These events not only bring people together for a good cause, but build team morale, familiarity, and connection.  


While organizing and offering community, charity and volunteer events are a major step, be sure to request feedback and evaluate participation and impact along the way. Stay involved or continue efforts with high impact and consider trying other efforts if participation is low. Try new things, but don’t be afraid to establish traditions too. Survey employees and ask what their favorite charities are.  Encouraging participation throughout the process will further engage your team, build comradery, and yield greater success.