Being a good corporate citizen is not just about writing checks. Workers want to put their skills and talents to use at companies that align with their values, and businesses are looking for ways to fulfill their desires, says marketing and business development expert Adrienne Rubin.
Rubin speaks from several years of experience in the business and nonprofit worlds. An active member of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce, Rubin is a key planner of an April chamber event, “Employee Engagement: Positive Impact for Your Bottom Line,” on Thursday, April 12, from 8 to 10:30 a.m. at Mercer Oaks Country Club. For more information, visit www.princetonchamber.org or call 609-924-1776.
Panelists will discuss the value of corporate social responsibility; attracting and retaining millennials; options for employees to make their own giving choices; team building events; how businesses of any size can support employee volunteers; and enhancing your company’s image as a community leader.
Moderated by Peg Forrestel of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the panelists include Lenora Green, Educational Testing Service, ETS Center for Advocacy & Philanthropy; Allison Gorga from the accounting firm, WithumSmith+Brown; and Susie Schub from Caring Capital, a group that focuses on building teams and connecting corporate volunteers with communities. Lindsey Forden from McCarter Theater will provide a perspective on volunteer options within the arts community.
Small and medium-size companies are beginning to realize they don’t have to be large corporations to offer volunteer incentives, Rubin says. Giving employees paid time off to work on a community project is one way to support volunteering, but, she says, there are many other options.
Some examples include donating to nonprofits where employees volunteer for a certain number of hours; giving programs where employees collect and disperse the money to a nonprofit of their choosing; buying theater or concert tickets to events sponsored by nonprofits, creating and contributing to food or toy drives, and providing technical or office support to nonprofit boards.
Rubin suggests giving employees the opportunity to do something of their choosing, something fun and meaningful to them. She recommends having a conversation with job candidates or new hires and asking them what their interests and causes are. Your company may have volunteer programs in place that are aligned with their interests, or the employee may be able to suggest organizations your company can support.
“Happy employees are more productive,” she says, adding that when employees feel supported in the issues they care about, they feel more loyalty toward the company.
Rubin backs up her assertions with personal experience. She currently provides business development services for an insurance company with community ties, the Nassau Street-based MacLean Agency. An advocate for animal welfare, she and other agency personnel support SAVE, an animal shelter. An advocate for the town of Princeton, Rubin serves on several committees for Princeton University.
Before joining the MacLean Agency in 2016, Rubin worked in finance at Give Something Back Foundation, and before that, was a director for Heartland Payment Solutions. She held executive positions with the Princeton Education Foundation and VolunteerConnect, an organization that partners with nonprofits, businesses, and individuals. Its work is centered on developing more effective boards and working with companies to leverage professional skills-based volunteering.
Working within the Princeton Chamber, Rubin chairs the group’s nonprofit council, which focuses on bringing nonprofits and businesses together. She coordinates her efforts with Hilary Butler, who chairs the arts and business alliance, focusing on cultural organizations.
Rubin earned a bachelor’s in music theory and composition at Princeton, Class of 1988. She puts her education to use at Temple Micah in Lawrenceville, where she is a cantorial soloist. She conducts monthly Shabbat services with the rabbi, works with musicians, provides pastoral care to congregants when needed, and has taught Hebrew, music, and Judaic topics at the temple.
Rubin has been interested in volunteering and community causes her whole life. At one point in her childhood, she was on the receiving end, she says. Her mother, a public school teacher, taught her the value of being grateful for what you have and pushing yourself to live up to your full potential.
She has found that every individual has something to offer, and every business, big or small, can make a difference in the community.
Your input is welcome!
Use this online form to ask the panelists questions or share the employee engagement programs you offer: https://goo.gl/forms/ock66R7zEVRMGyvI2