Page 4 - BusinessWest 2022 Giving Guide
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Giving Is a Great
Way to Meet Your
PBy Carla Cosenzi
eople often ask me, “why is giving back so essential to you and your business?” One answer is that giving fulfills a feeling, a sense of purpose, a contribution to society, and is a great way to
meet your local community.
Employees who feel like they positively impact the community report
a higher level of happiness at work. Studies show volunteer experiences boost mental health for employees, increase employee engagement, and help attract and retain employees. The bottom line for businesses is this: not only does giving back support the local community, but it builds your company’s reputation, brands your company in the community, and is a great opportunity for businesses and their employees to network locally.
There Are Many
Ways to Give Back
By Dan Moriarty
‘Giving back.’ This is an overused phrase, but isn’t it a wonderful phrase to be overused? I think so. Giving back is such a fundamental part of what makes a community a community — people helping people,
businesses helping communities, nonprofit organizations providing support. These are the things that connect us as a community.
Monson Savings Bank has continually sponsored BusinessWest’s annual Giv- ing Guide for several key reasons. The guide highlights a selection of nonprofits, many of which the bank holds near and dear to its heart, that have an immense, positive influence on our communities. It underscores the life-improving impact those organizations have on residents, businesses, and communities. It encour- ages philanthropy within our local area and allows donors and volunteers to make informed choices about their money and time. More importantly, it connects us back to what is important: taking care of our communities and one another.
I will never forget what my dad said. He always believed that giving back to the commu- nity and teaching others to give back contributes to an organization’s success and culture with their employees. He taught me that giving back to the community and the communities that sur- round the dealerships is not just important, it’s essential.
Through his words, Carla Cares, the phil- anthropic arm of TommyCar Auto Group, was founded. Our mission is to support charitable and nonprofit organizations across Western Mass. For us at TommyCar Auto, this mission
Monson Savings has a solid devotion to community giving, and this devotion has remained steadfast through the bank’s 150-year lifespan. It has long been known that we believe it is our duty to be actively engaged in better- ing our communities and helping our neighbors.
I would say that all businesses and business leaders play a vital role in the improvement of our shared com- munities. Not only is it a sound business choice to give back, it also firmly connects a business to its community and the customers it provides services for.
At Monson Savings, our strategy and philosophy on giving back is quite simple: we choose to do what is right, ensuring our communities benefit from the patronage
fulfills a sense of community every day in our core values and company culture. Our employees feel connected, respected, and engaged while we all work toward shared community goals.
I believe that giving back starts at the top, and I’m gratified that others in our organization share that priority. “What stands out to me the most is the passion that Carla has for giving back. When you see your leader being involved, it sets the tone down to everyone in the company,” said Josh Gamache, general sales manager of Northampton Volkswagen and Volvo Cars Pioneer Valley.
Choosing the causes and charities can be a difficult task for any busi- ness. As a business, we are constantly asked to support different causes, events, and organizations. The key to choosing which causes to support is allowing your employees to help dictate these decisions and aligning the causes you choose with your corporate values and culture. This input empowers and motivates employees and adds a significant sense of pur- pose and belonging to everyone in the organization. When employees influence charitable decisions, it brings unity to the team, offers creative freedom, and adds a significant sense of purpose. When employees feel a sense of purpose, companies succeed.
There are a number of ways businesses can give back. For us here at TommyCar Auto, it goes beyond simply sponsoring an event or writing a check. Our goal is to maximize our charitable impact through employee participation, partnership, and teamwork. We accomplish this through our large employee turnout at events as well as leveraging our social- media channels across all of our platforms to provide maximum aware- ness and exposure for the causes we support. Our belief is that a positive workplace community makes a huge difference in overall job satisfaction.
Companies who don’t know where to begin can turn to BusinessWest’s Giving Guide as a resource for the local charitable opportunities that have a need in the community. This community is fortunate to have Business West, which offers a comprehensive view of all the local causes and vol- unteer opportunities. Businesses can determine which charities are most aligned with their personal and professional goals and values.
In our organization, we have found that a sense of community is essential for the growth of our company culture. At TommyCar Auto, our charitable efforts are better for our business, our people, and our commu- nity, which is why giving back makes all the difference to us. v
Carla Cosenzi is the president of TommyCar Auto Group.
our customers show us. We are committed to taking an integral role in contribut- ing to the progress of our communities.
How we give back is considerably more layered and involves the entire team
at Monson Savings Bank. Sure, Monson Savings contributes monetarily to our communities, more than $250,000 in 2022 so far. The way we determine donation recipients is a well-thought-out process, considering what nonprofit organiza- tions align with our values and will best support our communities. In addition, our annual Community Giving Initiative encourages the public to vote for which orga- nizations they want to see receive donations in the coming year.
However, the charitable nature at Monson Savings Bank goes well beyond donations. It is also focused on taking action. I am proud of our team and their generosity when it comes to their service to our communities. Many of our team members sit on committees, serve on boards of directors, and volunteer for local nonprofits. They provide guidance, expertise, and support to help those nonprofits continue to serve their missions.
In 2022 so far, team members have completed more than 1,200 hours of vol- unteer time in our communities in various ways. Sometimes this involved hands- on volunteering such as helping assemble bikes for children at our Build-a-Bike events, handing out meals to food-insecure neighbors, assisting with toy drives, and teaching financial literacy to all ages.
Right now is the perfect time to develop your own giving strategy. While we cannot predict the future, and the time ahead may be challenging, I think we are all equipped with the most important tool to provide support to our neighbors and communities — a good heart. Consider developing a plan to make an impact moving forward.
If you are a business owner, think about what you or your customers would
like to see improved in your communities. You could sponsor a local team, make a monetary donation, or sit on a board for a local nonprofit. Perhaps you could even donate your services or business space.
Individuals can make a huge impact by giving back. If you are an individual, think about what you are passionate about and the expertise you could share to benefit your community. Your contributions, whether you are a business or indi- vidual, do not always need to be monetary, either. You can serve on a committee, volunteer your time, or help manage a fundraiser.
There are so many ways individuals and businesses can give back. And if we all set ‘give back’ goals to achieve, then we can collectively improve the overall well- being of individuals and our communities. So let’s work together to give back. v
Dan Moriarty is president and CEO of Monson Savings Bank.

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