5 Ways We Create a Culture of Giving

by Logan H.P.

Instrumart believes that we have a responsibility to take care of our customers, our vendors, our employees, and our community. A quick Google search will show you that consumers around the world increasingly choose to do business with companies that are purpose-driven and socially aware. We believe that taking care of our community stems from one main operating principle: do the right thing. Providing help to the amazing nonprofits in our area helps give an additional purpose to the work our employees do on a daily basis. And, as Simon Sinek famously said, “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

This doesn’t just apply to choosing purpose over profit, it applies to corporate social responsibility. Is your company doing fundraisers as a chore to hit a quota, or is it because it’s the right thing to do? If it’s simply a chore, your employees will not buy in and participate. If you make an effort to have your company embody the purpose behind the fundraiser, then it will become a part of the culture. This is exactly what happened at Instrumart, and we are continually amazed at the participation and initiative of our employees to help make our community a better place while working for us.

The #instruteam is always finding ways to rally their coworkers to give their time for volunteering, resources for food drives, and so much more. Here are five ways that we empower our employees to make a difference in the community.

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Automate & Match Employee Donations

One of the biggest reasons nonprofits don’t receive donations is because the process isn’t easy enough. To help solve this problem, we have set up our payroll system to allow employees to make donations directly from their paycheck to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. At the end of the year, we match the donation from our employees and deliver the total contributions. Since 2015, over $100K has been donated to Make A Wish Vermont by the company and our employees.

Image of Instrumart employees posing with a check for $40,000 USD that was donated to Make-A-Wish.

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Collect Items for Food Drives

Another regular endeavor for us is collecting nonperishable food for the local food shelf. It’s common to have a small group of people spearhead the project. This involves communication, providing an easy location to collect items from coworkers, and coordinating the drop-off. For example, around the holiday season in 2019, we worked hard to collect 2,228 items to deliver to the food shelf. It normally takes up an entire office or cubicle!  During the 2020 holiday season, we donated over 2,500 pounds of food.

Photo of Instrumart employees posing in front of the 2,238 items of food that were donated during the 2019 holiday season.

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Spend Time Creating Gift Boxes

The COVID pandemic forced the #instruteam to get creative. We normally sponsor the Make-A-Wish families to attend our local minor league baseball team’s game in the summer. Unfortunately, the 2020 season was suspended. This didn’t stop the generous nature of our employees, because they decided to bring the game to the families instead! With the help of some generous donations, both monetary and physical gifts for the kids, from local businesses, our office transformed into an assembly line. Employees who were working in the office helped put together 70 boxes filled with toys, gift cards, team merchandise, and much more for 170 kids. This project was one that helped bring joy to families during a difficult time for those in the community.

Photo of Instrumart employees preparing gift boxes for Make-A-Wish.

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Allow Time Off for Volunteering

Outside of the office, the Instruteam spends their time as parents, coaches, and so much more. Bottom line? They are busy and donating time can be a hard thing to do. We allow our employees to take time off so they can spend time helping their community.  Sometimes that means an individual taking time off, and sometimes it’s a whole group of employees helping a local nonprofit. For example, once per month, a small group of employees will spend a Friday afternoon helping Habitat For Humanity build homes. Another common way we volunteer together is on Green Up Day where we help clean up trash around the community. We believe giving time back to the community is very rewarding, so we are proud to make it easy for our employees to do that.

Photo of Instrumart employees posing in front of the trash they picked up for Green Up Day in 2016.

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Go Shopping

The holiday season is one where the spirit of giving comes alive. Each year, our local Salvation Army gathers wish lists for kids in need. Instrumart then sponsors the wish list for some kids, making sure their holiday season is one to remember. Employees will bring in items, and Instrumart also provides money for the team to actually take some time off from work to go gift shopping for the kids. In 2021, for example, we went shopping and ended up donating over $1,000 for the kids in our community who needed some extra help to get what they wished for. That quality time spent shopping together can be a great bonding experience, one where the impact of the work being done feels very real. We look forward to helping more families in the years to come!

Image of shopping carts filled with donations that Instrumart employees shopped for to donate to the Salvation Army.

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