A recent survey of Roofing Contractor readers revealed page upon page of interesting stats about how our readers go about doing their business. A great deal of the editorial you read online and between the pages of our publication comes directly from suggestions made by our readers, and our surveys provide us with a great deal of insight and feature ideas.

As I zoomed through the responses, which by the time I get them are neatly packaged complete with charts and graphs, I was stopped in my tracks by questions regarding community service. Over half of the respondents stated that their companies do not participate in any kind of community service: 51 percent, to be exact.

Now I understand that the economy is not a real winner and is absolutely in the tank in some parts of the country. It could be that some contractors just never stopped to think about seeking out a way to provide some community service and perhaps never received a call to serve. Some reasons may be perhaps a bit less pleasant.

Some folks have never been exposed to community service or volunteerism. The families they grew up in may not have participated or the communities they were raised in may not have been particularly involved. Others consider everything they earn to be sacred and not to be shared. Most everyone in this business has worked very hard for everything he or she has obtained and I do not begrudge them a penny of it.

But they just do not know what they are missing.

I think the size of an organization’s heart is just as important as the size of its bottom line. I think consumers, whether consciously or intuitively, understand the difference and prefer dealing with people and companies that are involved in the betterment of their community. Is this to say that there is a direct “payback” for firms for donating time and money to causes in the community? Absolutely not. But in my experience, engaging in community service involves you and your associates not only with the community, but with the better people and organizations in the community.

 There are tons of great causes out there. If you or your firm is not actively engaged in at least one annual event or initiative centered around community service, this would be a great time to look into what is available where you live and work. It need not cost a lot of money or time. And the real payback does not come from things like team building and making great connections (good outcomes, but not the real deal). The real payback comes from the realization that you can count your business (and personal) success in something other than dollars. The smiles of appreciation from those with whom you share can be priceless.