A while back, I was driving through my local Starbucks and was told at the window “Your tall/bold and cranberry orange scone is free. The person in front of you paid for you.” What? I was flabbergasted. I had vaguely heard of this sort of thing occurring but had never experienced it firsthand. She went on to explain that the person three cars ahead had started a sort of “pay it forward chain”. So I proceeded to pay for the person behind me. What a rush! For about $4.00 I drove off feeling like a million — and with all those endorphins buzzing through me, I probably even tacked on a few months to my life.
There is a lot of attention lately on business centers “giving back” to their communities. Officing Today wrote about Avanta’s efforts and there are others who make it part of their best practices to give. So, how can business center owners and operators reach out to their communities? A few ideas:
• Donate a percentage of your earnings to a charity.
• Sponsor your tenants for a local run or walk event or support their own events.
• Hold a $5 per plate wine/cheese mixer and give half to a charity.
• Give one of your employees a day or two off to go volunteer at a local mission and join them!
Already doing this? Great! But instead of simply putting a logo on your business center website proclaiming the charity you are contributing to, why not let this become the raison d‘etre for a Facebook page. Ask a couple team members to take this on; adding photos and comments. But don’t stop there. Why not reach out to brokers, suppliers and other centers and find out what, if anything, they are doing. What a great use for Facebook as a platform to encourage other businesses to give and to applaud them for doing so.
Drop me an email at [email protected] and let me know what your organization is doing to Pay it Forward. As we get closer to the holidays, I’m hoping I have enough material for a nice list of who’s doing what, and I’m hoping to include you!