By Stephanie Berkowitz // Washington Business Journal
A recent national survey revealed something many of us already know: Virginia is a great state for business. The Commonwealth earned the top spot in an annual CNBC study that scores states across 10 categories including workforce, education and quality of life.
To my mind, CNBC omitted an important criterion that makes the Northern Virginia business community special: a commitment to joining forces with nonprofit partners to address the daily hardships and entrenched barriers faced by many of our neighbors.
Since 1924, Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) has worked closely with employers of all sizes – from family-owned small businesses to Fortune 500 companies—to directly address the employment, housing and basic human services needs of low-income and vulnerable households. Call it corporate social responsibility, enlightened self-interest or simply neighbors helping neighbors, our business partners have stepped up in big ways.
Corporations are key to the trifecta of public, private and philanthropic partnerships that fuel innovation and opportunity in our region. Along with individual and philanthropic support, their financial contributions go a long way in enabling nonprofits to deliver mission-driven support and services to the community at large. Beyond the monetary support that is critical in helping nonprofits meet the growing demand for our services, businesses also help us achieve our goals by offering their expertise, volunteers and in-kind contributions. And, as numerous studies tell us, giving back is good for the bottom line. It attracts millennials, boosts employee morale and gets your company’s name out there. It benefits both your employees and your customers—many of whom are our clients.