What makes your business unique? What makes it stand out among countless competitors? Is it the services you offer? The products you sell? Or is it the image your company projects? More and more, it’s the latter. Your bottom line increasingly depends on public perception. A recent study revealed that two thirds of consumers are more likely to purchase products or services from a business that is actively involved in the community. That’s why it pays to be a Caring Company.

Launched in the Fall of 2011 as a joint initiative of Volunteer Richmond Information Services, the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, and Ashton Service Group, the Richmond Caring Companies program, through a series of workshops and one-on-one consultations, seeks to give businesses the tools they need to make a meaningful impact in the community. While businesses go through the program together, what they each get out of it is unique. Some receive help developing and implementing an employee volunteer policy. Others receive guidance on forming sustainable partnerships with non-profit organizations. Some businesses are already involved in the community, but are looking for ways to better share their stories with the public.

Regardless of the size or type of your business, you will benefit from the Richmond Caring Companies program - through coverage in both print and online media, through the skills you’ll learn and take back to your workplace, and, among the public, through increased awareness of the commitment you’ve made to your community. You’ll offer the same services as before, you’ll sell the same products, but your identity as a business will have changed. You’ll now be known as a Caring Company, and that alone will give you a competitive edge. It will engender goodwill among your customers and clients. It will make you their first choice.

If you’re not yet sure whether the Richmond Caring Companies program is right for your business, we’d respond that it’s right for every business. There’s so much to gain by giving back to your community. We hope you’ll join us and see for yourself.


- 4 2.5-hour Richmond Caring Companies workshops
- One-on-one consultations
- Day of Caring participation (including t-shirts and refreshments)
- A seat on the Richmond Caring Companies Council
- Recognition in local media

1) Creating A Culture of Caring | Thursday, September 26, 2013 | 8:30am - 11:00am

This workshop will include an introduction to Employer-Supported Volunteer programs and the Richmond Caring Companies program. We will also walk through a toolkit to examine the culture and personality of your business, so as to find the best starting point for creating a successful Employer-Supported Volunteer program in your workplace.

2) Policy & Implementation | Thursday, January 23, 2014 | 8:30am - 11:00am

Once great ideas are on the table, it is important to put the proper procedures in place so employees are able to take part in Employer-Supported Volunteer programs. We will be providing samples and facilitating discussions on what is needed to write policy and implement your ideas in a formal way. 

3) Policy Discussions & Group Volunteering | Thursday, March 20, 2014 | 8:30am - 11:00am

We'll start off by revisiting the discussion on policy writing and answering any questions that have arisen since the previous workshop. This session will also cover group volunteering from a business perspective - what to expect from group volunteer opportunities, what challenges you might face, and how to get the most out of your experience. 

4) Final Presentations & Discussions | Thursday, May 15, 2014 | 8:30am - 11:00am

Businesses will present progress reports on the implementation of their Employer-Supported Volunteer programs. 

Each year in June, past and present Richmond Caring Companies come together to participate in a one-day service project. It’s called, fittingly enough, the Day of Caring, and reinforces the program’s key principles: volunteerism, employee engagement, and community involvement. The first two events, in 2012 and 2013, were held at The Sharing Farm, which provides fresh produce for the Richmond Food Bank and other charities. Altogether, nearly 200 volunteers took part. Whether we return again in 2014, or take on an entirely new project, one thing is certain: it's a day your employees (and their families) won't soon forget.

The Richmond Caring Companies Council is a collaborative body of individuals from businesses throughout Richmond. It works to respond to the critical needs of our city by actively developing and advocating workplace volunteerism as a key community-building strategy.

Recognizing that workplace volunteerism is a large part of the community investment landscape, the Council aims to create and utilize a system of sharing information and expertise relating to community investment with a focus on workplace volunteerism.

Goals & Objectives

  1. Grow leaders in the corporate and non-profit sectors that advocate and demonstrate cross-sectoral civic engagement.

  2. Encourage effective partnerships between the business and voluntary sectors.

  3. Share information and expertise relating to workplace volunteer development and programming as a key component of community investment.

  4. Promote creative models of workplace volunteering.

  5. Promote professional development opportunities for members of the Council who are engaged in educating, creating, and administering community investment strategies or employee volunteerism as part of their job responsibilities.

  6. Grow support and recognition for the value of workplace volunteerism in the Richmond community.

The next Richmond Caring Companies campus begins in September 2013. There are a limited number of spaces available in the program, since each business is unique. A smaller group enables us to work more closely with participating businesses and, based on their individual characteristics - number of employees, financial resources, industry - develop more effective community engagement strategies. 

If you'd like to take part in the Richmond Caring Companies program, please complete the Expression of Interest form below. We'll contact you shortly to further discuss what you'd like to achieve through the program, and how we can help you do it.