The economy has left many people, and the nonprofit organizations they rely on, in crisis. As a result, community service is more critical than ever.

“More than anything, what our country, communities and families require are everyday folks who can rise above their own circumstances to give back to the community,” said Alan L. Olsen, managing partner of Greenstein Rogoff Olsen & Co., a CPA firm in the Bay Area.“In doing so, they become true leaders; exactly what we need right now.”

Giving money or one’s time back to the community is more than just a nice thing to do. There are many tangible financial benefits to businesses that encourage volunteerism.

Consider the following:
•    Companies engaged in social responsibility had a 10-year positive return on equity that was 10 percent higher than their counterparts and a 10-year relative return to shareholders that was 65 percent higher.
•    At large companies, 84 percent of executives say corporate citizenship contributes to the bottom line.
•    When price and quality are similar, 86 percent of Americans say they are likely to buy a brand associated with a social/community cause.
•    Employees’ perception of a company’s corporate citizenship affects employee morale, spirit and pride, trust in their employer, and a willingness to recommend their employer as a good place to work
•    81 percent of Americans take into consideration a company’s commitment to a social issue when deciding where to work.
•    Employees who work for organizations involved in the community are more likely to be engaged at work and stay with the company. (Source: Walker Information)
•    Volunteers agree that the experience improves motivation and enhances decision-making, problem-solving, teamwork, negotiating, and delegation skills.

GROCO and its employees enjoy a corporate culture that emphasizes giving back. Even during the grueling demands of tax season they find time to sponsor, participate in, and provide pro bono services for numerous worthwhile causes.

As a result, GROCO revenues continue to achieve an astonishing double-digit growth due in part to developing a reputation for being a strong and generous community champion. 

“You do the right thing and everybody wins,” Olsen said. “It’s a no-brainer.”
Examples of recent community events in which GROCO participated (even during tax season!) include:
•    “Book Buck$,” a literacy program benefiting more than 37,000 local students
•    “Ducks for Bucks Benefit Race,” which raises funds for local charities
•    Leadership Fremont, a development course that includes a service project
•    “Stamp Out Hunger” an annual food drive

I know that civic engagement is rarely easy or convenient but, to me, it is both rewarding and the obvious solution to many community problem,” Olsen said.