July WBN Luncheon Follow-up: Enhancing Your Network through Community Engagement

Utah Valley Women's Business Network July luncheonFor July’s WBN luncheon, we were treated to a taste of paradise in the Tahitian Noni Garden.  Surrounded by beautiful flowers and a waterfall, it was a welcome break from the office.

Our speaker was Bill Bridges, Director of Development at Utah Valley University (UVU).  His topic was Enhancing Your Network through Community Engagement.”   Bridges explained how success in business (and in life) is related to community engagement. You should look for opportunities to be involved in good causes and give back to the community. This will build your network and the positive feelings about you and your business.  It should be of mutual benefit, providing a good return on investment for both sides, and you should do it because it’s the right thing to do.

Bridges gave participants a handout on some of the factors that influence volunteer rates in Utah.  Greater attachment to the community encourages volunteering.  Long commutes can curtail opportunities to volunteer. Volunteering rises with education – Bridges mentioned how UVU’s service learning classes have encouraged students to be involved with the local community. Volunteering is less common in high poverty areas. Higher stage unemployment is related to lower volunteer rates and volunteer rates are lower in cities with high foreclosure rates.

The capacity of a community’s associations impacts volunteer rates.  Communities with higher nonprofits per capita are likely to have higher volunteer rates.  Utah ranks first among the states for volunteerism rates.

When deciding how to be involved, identify what you enjoy doing, what you’re passionate about. There’s also nothing wrong with doing something that brings a benefit back to your business.  Bridges closed by saying, “Community engagement can help your business.  I know it, I’ve seen it, I’ve participated it in. I would submit that the greater value for all of us will likely come from the emotional and uplifting benefit your service brings to others. ”

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Thanks again to our sponsors Keller Williams Realty Lehi and the Third Annual Ladies Curiosity Golf Challenge at Thanksgiving Point , and thanks to our 2011 Angel Sponsor, the Barbara Barrington Jones Family Foundation!

Would you like some recognition for your business?

If you or your organization would like to sponsor WBN events, contact Alison Dyer at ali@uvmag.com.  Or, you can simply bring a door prize of at least $5 value (in addition to any service discounts, if applicable) to the next luncheon and we’ll mention your donation at the giveaway!

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