Business benefits from nonprofit engagement

Social capital is an elusive concept. Many corporate leaders feel part of their work must include “giving back to the community.” While running a business, sitting on a corporate board or leading a division turns the focus on profit, leaders find involvement in the nonprofit sector offers a richer fulfillment that comes from helping others.


Such is the case with Doug Ziegler who shared, “My volunteer fundraising is one of the most rewarding things I have ever experienced.” Ziegler recently received the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraising award from the International Association of Fundraising Professionals as part of their National Philanthropy Day® celebration in Washington D.C.  At 87, he continues to celebrate a life of work in the corporate sector that includes a parallel investment in philanthropy.
Like most successful businessmen Ziegler had a mentor, advisor and guide. He followed in the footsteps of his father, who regularly reminded him of his obligation to help the community.

While corporate social responsibility is now the norm, for over 60 years, Ziegler has helped raise nearly $40 million for a myriad of charities in the greater Milwaukee community. As he encourages others to become more aware and invested in the community, Ziegler is co-chairing yet another United Way of Washington County campaign.
Today’s leaders share the strength that comes from “giving back to the community” with their employees. Building social capital by encouraging employees to become involved in charitable causes. In fact, the impact of employer-supported volunteer programs in the nonprofit sector is two-fold – helping nonprofits as well as increasing appreciation of and commitment to work.

Simply put—nonprofit engagement helps the business bottom line.

Contributed by By Tamara L. Pacada, MBA, CFRE, president-elect of AFP Southeastern WI and edited by Peter Zehren, XMPA, vice president of communications, AFP Southeastern WI.

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