Let’s talk business.

The charitable landscape of the past looks different these days. Engaging with meaningful causes is now a vital part of any successful business plan.

The growingly popular acronyms of CSR and ESG — Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental, Social and Governance — are here to stay. At their core, companies’ CSR and ESG policies evaluate the meaningful commitments they make to their people and communities. Often this includes a company’s philanthropy and volunteerism.

Developmental Disability Awareness Month in March was a critical time for us to promote awareness and giving to Opportunity Village. Now, during Global Service Month in April, the opportunity exists to touch many of the nonprofits in our valley.

Between these two touchpoints, we’ve seen — and are seeing — volunteerism shine. Philanthropic initiatives have taken center stage within and well beyond our walls. What better time to reflect on how the Southern Nevada business community can strengthen its impact amid the current climate?

It all begins with you. Yes, you, the people who make up our local businesses, big and small.

An individual’s passion can spread like wildfire in their business setting. We both have family members with developmental and learning disabilities, and our desire to make their world better inspired us to leave corporate life. That goal drives our work endeavors.

Like us, many people have deep-rooted passions. These folks and their businesses are looking for ways to get involved and give back. They just don’t know where to start.

We encourage you to start small. Explore the philanthropic landscape and find an organization you feel strongly about. It should steward you in the right way, both in sweat equity and financial gifts.

Start by volunteering or experiencing what that nonprofit does. Schedule a tour. Engage in one of their programs. Ask questions to discover how they work to make a difference. What you learn will go a long way toward determining how you can make an impact. You might land on regular volunteer days, or you could discover the best way to help is a sustained gift that will change lives for generations to come.

As we tally support from our Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month initiative, we’re reminded that corporate and individual support during awareness months isn’t enough. It needs to happen year-round, and this doesn’t only apply to Opportunity Village. It’s a necessity for all nonprofits throughout the valley, large and small.

For so many of these organizations, cash is king. It’s a vital resource if they’re to provide life-changing and, in many instances, life-saving support. It can be tempting to see a nonprofit receive a large gift and think they’re all set. But the strongest of nonprofits are always working to grow in scope — to expand further into underserved communities and broaden their services.

Just as nonprofits strive to do more, we know many people and businesses in our community are looking for ways to get involved. Now is the perfect time for each of us to assess our spheres and see where we can up our game.

And, if we’ve got the individual philanthropy down pat, it’s time to get down to business.

Bob Brown is president and CEO, and Stacy Ostrau is vice president of philanthropy, at Opportunity Village.





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