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Community Giving: An Investment That Really Matters

Gary S. Lesser - President of The Florida Bar

Let’s face it. A business can only be as strong as the community it serves. That is why our 95-year-old personal injury law firm has a long tradition of investing in the people, places and organizations that surround us. From serving in leadership positions on the boards of nonprofits to organizing fundraising events and volunteering with charitable organizations, our mission to protect and rebuild lives while enhancing our community isn’t something we just say; it is what we do.

Most recently, our firm donated $10,000 to help the Sounds of Success Community Marching Band with their goal of performing at London Band Week in the summer of 2023. We wanted to recognize and invest in this nonprofit, which introduces youth to music while reinforcing learning and teambuilding skills. It is our hope that other businesses and individuals will follow our lead, invest in the next generation of our community to make a difference in the lives of these youth.Below are three ways your company can demonstrate a seriousness-of-purpose with community investments that will have meaningful and long-lasting impacts.1. Sponsoring Annual Fundraising Events. Often, this will be an annual walk or run but it can also be a gala dinner or even a yard sale. This type of event is a great way to support the cause and build awareness for it by promoting it to your clients or customers. If you are a walk-in business, you can display marketing materials and provide information on their research, patient-care services, scholarship funds, etc. It is also an opportunity to encourage your employees to participate by generating pledges or volunteering at the event.

2. Having an Employee Service Day.  Giving back isn’t just about writing a check – it is about paying it forward in other ways. Establish a day of community service by giving your employees a paid day off so that they can volunteer with the community organization of their choice. Not only will it be genuinely helpful to the organization needing the extra hands, but it is a meaningful step that will have a positive impact on how your workforce values your brand.

3. Make it part of leadership. We all get busy and have more on our plates than we can handle, which is why it’s important your C-suite and manager-level teams build in time to give back to the community. Service of self has the organic ability to energize and invigorate. Strongly encourage your leadership teams to join a community committee or local nonprofit board. Set the expectation by doing so yourself. This level of commitment shows the rest of the company, your clients and the community that you are emblematic of your company’s mission. Not only will it support the cause, but it will be a clear demonstration to all stakeholders that your company is a positive, caring and open-hearted workplace. Make sure your giving is evolving because communities change and grow. Communicate with your employees so they know their suggestions and ideas are always welcomed for consideration. Most importantly, take pride in your community outreach. This investment is one that matters today and tomorrow.

Author Bio:

Gary S. Lesser is President of The Florida Bar and Managing Partner of LesserLesser, Landy & Smith, PLLC, a third-generation law firm with 95 years of dedication to helping people who have experienced life-changing trauma due to the negligence of others. A native of West Palm Beach, he is one of Florida’s foremost personal injury attorneys, leading a team of skilled trial lawyers who practice law with professionalism, integrity, ethics and a commitment to personal client service. A dedicated community servant, having held leadership positions in numerous legal, nonprofit and civic-oriented organizations, Gary Lesser can be reached at glesser@lesserlawfirm.com and on LinkedIn.

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