“One person can make a difference, and every person should try.” ~ John F. Kennedy

‘Tis better to give than receive, as the old adage goes. And at no time of year do we feel this more than during the holidays! The spirit of giving is everywhere. As a medical practice or facility, it is essential to remember how giving back benefits your providers, patients, staff and community.

Managing a busy practice is all-encompassing. With everything medical providers and their staff have on their plates, giving back to their communities may be the last thing on their minds. Who has the extra time or money to volunteer or donate to numerous charities? Yet evidence shows that the rewards for doctors’ philanthropic efforts are far-reaching. Not only do patients and the community benefit, but it turns out medical providers and their practices do, as well.

Here are 3 ways how giving back can help your practice

1. Giving back to their communities can actually help physicians attract new patients. Participating in volunteer efforts that are relevant to target patients gets your name out there and shows your potential patietns and referral sources that you care about your community. For instance, if you’re an orthopedic surgeon, conduct safe exercise seminars at your local health club. If you’re an oncologist, sponsor and attend the local cancer walk.

2. Sponsor a local charity event or fundraiser. This puts your practice in a positive light and shows your community what you value.

3. Charitable efforts can help combat negative doctor stereotypes. Sometimes physicians are assumed to be not very generous givers or not supportive of the community. Giving back to causes you care about shows your patients, referral sources and the public your generous spirit and increases your medical practice’s brand exposure.

Where to start?  Contact the charity that interests you and your medical practice.  Executive Directors or Development Directors are your key contacts. See what events they have coming up and what aligns with your calendar and interests.  Next, get the word out!  You will want to include your participation in any newsletters you do to your patients, referral sources or potential referral sources.  You also need to share your involvement on your social media channels leading up to the event and post pictures afterwards of you and your team in attendance. You may also want to add a tab to your website called “Community Matters” and list out the charities that you sponsor or provide volunteers too.   Pictures of you and your team on this page help patients and referral sources see you care and work to make a difference in your local community.

Charitable acts are performed without the expectation of direct financial gain, but they certainly are not without their own rewards.  When medical practices give back to causes in the community, people involved in those causes tend to want to support the medical practice in return. Serving with purpose goes far in increasing your brand awareness.  Building a reserve of goodwill in your community means cultivating relationships with potential referral sources and patients and helping to build a pipeline for your medical practice. It’s also a great way to involve your team and increase employee engagement and fun for your team!  Tis the season for giving!