Connecting Through Cleaning: The Benefits of PhilanthropyBy Sandy Wolfrum | June 2, 2021 << Back to Articles
From ensuring safe and healthy learning environments within schools to disinfecting patient rooms at hospitals to preventing illnesses and upholding appearance in the facilities where we live, work, and visit – the global cleaning industry impacts everyone. Over the past year, cleaning has been in the spotlight as a way to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. As our industry met the increased demand for products and solutions to clean, sanitize, and disinfect, it also meant more people than ever before needed support.
Cancer patients who were already isolated at home and battling for their lives faced increased risk and uncertainty and a decreased sense of community and support amid social distancing guidelines and changing regulations. Women, especially those with children, encountered new challenges of keeping up with their increased workload while also balancing virtual learning schedules and other personal conflicts. Students getting ready to graduate were about to enter the worst job market since the Great Depression while those just entering college had to make difficult financial decisions.
These are just a few examples of the people ISSA Charities™ supports. We aim to connect cleaning with those in need and form meaningful connections over time. And as we continue to overcome the obstacles of the pandemic, our three signature programs—Cleaning for a Reason®, ISSA Hygieia Network™, and ISSA Scholars— are stepping in to make a difference.
Giving is good for business
It’s easy to accept that charitable giving benefits those in need, but it also positively impacts those who give – especially corporations. While individual donations can make a substantial impact, corporate giving can take a charitable cause to new heights and strengthen a company’s bottom line by:
- Attracting and retaining better talent. Socially responsible organizations are more attractive to today’s workforce. In fact, 75% of millennial employees say that it’s important for companies to be philanthropic and support different causes. The same study found that over 90% cite the fact that giving back to their communities is important, making it crucial for organizations to consider giving to charities within their own industry and impact those directly around them.
- Boosting employee morale and commitment. Many of today’s employees expect their employer to take a firm stance on certain issues, such as diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), sustainability, volunteerism, and more. When staff feel as though their work contributes to the greater good, it can positively impact employee morale. Charitable campaigns can also bring together large corporations to work toward a common goal, increasing overall employee engagement and commitment.
- Improving workplace culture. America’s Charities Snapshot Employee Research found that 71% of employees believe it’s imperative or very important to work where culture is supportive of giving and volunteering. As many companies have adapted to working from home or adjusted corporate culture due to the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to emphasize the company’s giving culture to inspire employees and boost collaboration.
Cleaning as a charity
Although the cleaning industry extends to multiple sectors, it’s a community that shares a single goal: make the world a cleaner and healthier place to live. Because ISSA Charities aims to become the industry’s main philanthropic endeavor, we need the support of all companies and employees to continue our efforts.
Under the umbrella of ISSA Charities, our programs tap into different but equally important causes. Through ISSA Scholars, we introduce the world of cleaning to students and soon-to-be graduates, further diversifying and expanding the talent pool that makes up our industry. With today’s financial strain and record-breaking tuition costs, scholarships can often be the difference between a student attending the college of their dreams.
“ISSA has made a firm statement that it believes in the importance of investing in the futures of our younger generations, and that it will continue to give a helping hand to those who strive for a better future through academic excellence.” -Justin, former ISSA Scholars recipient
With ISSA Hygieia Network, some of the leading women in the industry are working together to break the glass ceiling and help women of all backgrounds and at all levels of their careers achieve success. With educational webinars, networking conferences, a free mentoring program, and more, the Hygieia Network has helped the cleaning industry become one that women seek out for its unparalleled opportunities.
“Being young in the cleaning industry, there are a lot of different directions I could take my career. My mentor helped me set up informational interviews with people in positions that I’m interested in.” -Katrina, ISSA Hygieia Network mentee
Cleaning for a Reason harnesses the hard work of residential cleaning operations, offering free home cleaning services to those battling cancer. After serving over 42,000 patients and donating more than US$14 million in home cleanings, its dedicated team and cleaning partners have brought hope and health back into the lives of men, women, and children fighting for their lives.
“My stage 3 cancer diagnosis was so crushing that I didn’t believe I would beat it. After walking into my freshly cleaned home, I felt a rush of confidence and some normalcy and control back in my life. A clean home gave me the boost I needed. For the first time, I actually believed I would beat cancer.” -Carolyn, cancer patient and Cleaning for a Reason recipient
Interested in getting involved? Throughout the month of June, ISSA Charities is hosting a fundraiser with a goal to raise $25,000. With these funds, we can expand and connect more people who benefit from our mission and services.
Donate today by visiting issacharities.com/donate. Or consider talking to your company about becoming a corporate sponsor and the many benefits that come from donating annually. Learn more at issacharities.org.
About the Author.
Sandy Wolfrum is the Director of Development for ISSA Charities. You can reach her at [email protected].