How businesses can make an impact in a Trump administration

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By: Kirsten Kippen | 11.22.16
This election has tested the separation between business and politics. Business leaders (including prominent tech CEOs and Atlantic Monthly) have been speaking out strongly against Trump for months. But now the election is over, America is reeling, and everyone is trying to figure out what this change of power means for us individually and our companies and organizations collectively.
No one knows yet what the impact to our nation and its economy will be. We cannot control what will happen next year in Washington and our world, but, as a business that cares about social impact, we have an opportunity and responsibility to engage.
So how can businesses give back to this hurting, polarized post-election country?
1. Create an atmosphere of inclusivity at work
Whether it means wearing safety pins, organizing group runs, or sharing meals once a week, give space for your co-workers to process the election outcomes together. At Idealist Consulting we sat down the day after the election to share challenges and opportunities that we are feeling after this election. Make space for people to have these conversations. It is quite likely your co-workers have different views than you; consider setting some baseline agreements, starting with giving each other a break and ending with not giving up on each other (check out this post for more fantastic ideas).
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2. Dedicate a portion of your profits to impacted nonprofits
We are headed into the biggest fundraising time of the year and many nonprofits are organizing around Giving Tuesday and year-end campaigns. No one knows yet what a Trump presidency will mean for nonprofits but it is quite likely that federal funding will dry up for pro-women, pro-immigrant, pro-environment causes. Some nonprofits have already reported an uptick in fundraising.
Many businesses give year-end donations. Others have philanthropy baked into their business model. Figure out your tactic, then focus it on organizations that are hit hard right now. Here is a list from Jezebel of key organizations that will need support more than ever.
If you work for a nonprofit, donors are looking for ways to help: make it easy for them. Reach out to them and give clear, simple calls to action. People are looking for ways to engage and inspire each other.
3. Offer volunteer time
In addition to donating profits, your company can also give the gift of manpower and time. Organize group volunteer days or give Volunteer Time Off as part of your benefits package. Again, focusing on organizations that are hurting right now when you offer these benefits and suggest a few local organizations that may need more love.
4. Remember what unites us
Keep the conversation going, in a positive way, about how we can pull together as a nation, community, and office. This could mean taking a look at the values or maxims your company is based on or discussing how better align with those values as a company. And, when in doubt, a few words of encouragement from leadership can go a long way to boost morale.
This week our CEO Rob Jordan shared these remarks on the election to our internal team:
“Ultimately, much of the uncertainty that we feel today will be replaced with the things that bind us together as a nation.To be safe, to be treated kindly, to have hope for a better future. Idealist Consulting is a purpose-driven and values-centric company with a core competency of helping people who have differing views. We help good people do good things and times like these cause me to appreciate our vision and what it truly means to be an “Idealist”. We are the leaders of bridging values and sectors and we will continue to do that long after this election. Stay true to our maxims and continue to do what we have always done and we will continue to make an impact.”
Businesses can bring together their employees and make an impact on our community. The power is our hands to make the world a better place. Let’s make an impact.




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