With planning calendars and budget discussions dominating the month of January for many multifamily portfolio and building managers, CSR - or corporate social responsibility - initiatives are sure to be a key topic of conversation, and one not to be ignored for multifamily operators around the country.

Recent reports confirm that a management’s choice of charity has a direct impact on resident’s connection with a building. In fact, a recent study from ManagInc found that more than 90% of the executives who responded replied that CSR does, or can, have an impact on resident retention, employee retention and performance. Additional results from the study can be found in Doug Miller and Jen Piccotti’s feature in the October 2017 issue of NAA’s Units magazine.

Executives further confirm the importance of a meaningful CSR initiative. The ManagInc study found that 80% agree that residents, especially millennials, find it important that a management company is socially responsible.

Doug Miller, founder and CEO of ManagInc shared, “CSR really means that when you take care of a company’s stakeholders (employees, suppliers, residents, the communities you do business within), those who make your company successful, they’ll take care of you and your long term sustained success. Our study really validates this. CSR and a ‘caring’ operating philosophy can drive employee engagement / retention / recruitment, supplier loyalty, resident loyalty / retention / recruitment, and reputation. This is even more critical as it relates to Millennials, our wonderful ‘activist’ generation.”

Source - ManagInc, published in Oct. 2017 NAA Units Magazine: “Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Why It Matters”

No matter the level of support or monetary donation, finding the right charity - both for you and on behalf of your residents - has never been more important for buildings in the United States. Here are just a few tips for carrying out a meaningful CSR initiative in 2018.

Finding the right charity

Companies in many industries typically find difficulties with locating, or narrowing down, the right charity to share its contribution with. Interested in supporting a specific cause but not sure where to donate to? Try the free online tool Charity Navigator, which uses a search engine based on keywords to provide top-rated orgs based on your cause. Or check out last month’s Consumer Reports’ rundown on the top-rated charities of 2017, categorized for ease of search. 

Vetting Your Choice of Charitable Organization(s)

  • Ask if your gift has tax-exempt status: You can check this by asking the group you’re giving to, or visiting the IRS website.
  • Verify it’s the correct charity: For many large, national charities, there a few similar sounding charities. Consumer Reports gives the example of the low-rated American Breast Cancer Foundation of Columbia, Md., v.s. the high-rated Breast Cancer Research Foundation of New York, N.Y.
  • Ask questions: When in doubt, ask! Regardless of the amount, any organization who is the beneficiary of your thoughtful gift will be happy to answer questions regarding where the donation will be going towards and legitimacy.

Get Residents Involved

Looking for more ways to connect with your residents? Get them involved! Studies prove that giving makes people happy (and, fun fact, lowers blood pressure), so why not make your residents a part of the year-long giving? Use your Mobile Doorman apartment app to send out a message asking for charity suggestions, or post an online survey tool such as SurveyMonkey or SurveyGizmo within you apartment app’s virtual Bulletin feature for residents to vote on a charity most meaningful to them.