&Barr Launches Corporate Social Opportunity Program

By: Erin Pagán, VP of Public Relations

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

While most companies have shown their care for social causes and donated time, talent, and treasure over the years, many have missed the opportunity to aggregate their efforts in an organized program that makes it clear to both consumers and employees what the company/brand stands for, how those causes were chosen in alignment with the company’s values, and provide opportunities for employee involvement.

These efforts have been traditionally referred to as Corporate Social Responsibility, but a few years ago we heard this term recoined Corporate Social Opportunity and loved the subtle but significant change and now use it pervasively for our clients and ourselves.
In fact, we launched this year – during our 65th anniversary – our first formalized CSO program, and we’re excited to share it with you and bring it to life with our team members and selected nonprofits!

You may be thinking, how did we narrow it down with so many deserving organizations? Trust us, it’s hard, but we found that when you look at the history of a company and its mission, vision, and values, it becomes very clear what causes align with your company and brand.

For &Barr, we identified several long-standing areas of focus that easily aligned into three core pillars we themed Past, Present, and Future. The Past pillar honors our local history, of which &Barr has been an integral part, and those who have come before us. This pillar focuses on two charities of choice, including Seniors First and The Historical Society. The Present pillar focuses on the importance of a healthy community and regional economy and supports two nonprofits, including Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County and the YMCA of Central Florida. And last, but certainly not least, the Future pillar will foster young people studying to become the future of our industry, and we will support the Ad/PR programs at UCF, UF, and the 4A’s MAIP.

To ensure we walk the talk, we provide our team members eight hours of paid Volunteer Time Off (VTO) per quarter and encourage everyone to use half to volunteer with one of our &Barr-selected nonprofits and the other half with any nonprofits that support their personal passions.

We are recording our give-back efforts all year long and will be excited to bring them together in what we call a Community Annual Report that we’ll share with our clients, team members, and community in an effort to inspire other companies to join us as we give back in gratitude.

If you’re realizing it’s time for your company to build a CSO program, we would be honored to help you move forward by giving back. Give us a call and let’s spark something great together!

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