As we all struggle with responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the franchise industry have the responsibility to give where and when we can. Spreading positivity during these unprecedented times has become more important than ever. As an industry, we need to inspire our franchisees to give back to move communities forward. Big or small, the combined local contributions of franchising create a significant impact in our communities, touching the lives of our customers and neighbors.
Unite Around A Common Cause
For more than a decade, I’ve been a part of the franchising and senior care industries. I pioneered the first senior placement and referral franchise and built our brand to be synonymous with compassion and caring. I believe it’s vitally important to have a way that your franchise system can unite around a common cause and give back.
With COVID-19, our clients — seniors — are one of the most vulnerable to the disease. Isolated from their loved ones, they need to be positively engaged and supported during these scary and uncertain times. My company, Assisted Living Locators, rallied around this cause and announced a national partnership with Love For The Elderly, a non-profit organization that mails handwritten letters to seniors. We worked together to encourage people to write “Letters of Love” to uplift seniors during the pandemic. We mobilized our 130 franchisees nationwide to reach out to thousands of families in their communities asking for handwritten letters to mail to senior facilities.
It takes time and effort, but for franchisors who want to align themselves with a particular cause, it can be a highly rewarding practice. If you have a passion for a cause that integrates with your brand as ours does, do it! Whether large or small, any charitable effort that your brand can make in the communities you serve will have an impact.
Make Giving Part Of Your Company Culture
Through my work with Assisted Living Locators, I’ve seen how philanthropic outreach and empowering your franchisees to give back can bring success. At Assisted Living Locators, giving back to our communities is part of our company culture and an integral part of our brand.
Recognizing that the senior care industry draws franchisees that are compassionate, our Assisted Living Locators senior care advisors contribute to a variety of charitable community efforts based on inspiring support and improving quality of life. Whatever your industry, a company culture that thrives on the importance of giving back has many benefits and will ultimately generate a positive image, strong visibility and profitable business.
Franchise organizations are very different from any other company structure because individual owners serve their respective communities under one common brand. This unique structure puts boots on the ground like no other business model. Giving back through the franchise system can make a significant positive impact in not one, but many communities! As a member of a franchise organization, you have the opportunity to create or participate in initiatives and programs to help others in your own area. The cause should be meaningful and support the franchisee’s wishes and company values. When applicable, promote the cause nationally and have franchisees implement the program on a local level to help impact their communities.
Franchisees Can Be A Force Of Good In Their Communities
Give your franchisees the power to make a difference. Encourage them to bring forth organizations and causes they want to support in their community and help them execute a plan.
Our franchisees have been a tremendous force of good in their communities, giving to a variety of local causes across the country. Here’s some of the inspiring ways our Assisted Living Locators Senior Care Advisors are making a local connection.
Connecting With A Single Rose
“I have a special place in my heart for each senior I meet, knowing they need extra care and compassion. I brought a single rose to my very first senior I helped find long term care and it brought tears to both our eyes. I still continue this special service today as my way to give back to seniors in my community. Nothing is more rewarding than putting a smile on a senior’s face with just a simple gesture.” – Shannon Avazian, Assisted Living Locators Santa Clarita Senior Care Advisor
Teamwork Can Uplift Others
“During COVID-19, I partnered with other local agencies, Angels Care Home and Right at Home, to bring some sunshine and smiles to the residents at Brookstone Village, long term care and rehab facility. We all put on bunny ears and hopped around the outside of the community, stopping at resident’s windows to say hello and spread some cheer. We brought spring and Easter-themed window clings for the residents, adding some joy and brightness to their windows. There were huge smiles, many laughs, and we sang songs to the residents via our phones. Giving back is all about the spirit of teamwork and making an impact in your community.” – Nikki Wulff, Assisted Living Locators Omaha Senior Care Advisor
Contributing In Small Ways Can Make A Big Difference
“For five years, I have worked with my church’s homebound ministry. Once a month, I visit a group of seniors that can't make it to Sunday mass. I bring them communion, listens to their stories, or sometimes just lets them tell me how bad they feel. Recently, I became involved with Meals on Wheels, a volunteer program that delivers food to seniors that have no transportation to buy groceries. I truly enjoy working to support seniors any way I can, and my franchise has become a visible part of the community for senior care.” - Assisted Living Locators North Georgia Senior Care Advisor Greg Santini
Customers today expect brands and companies to stand for something and to be involved in the community in some way. Then the question becomes, what’s important to your communities and franchisees? The local connection is most important to franchisees.
There are a number of ways to give back and get involved. Have your franchisees look around their community and see where they can offer help. By building on the passion of giving back and empowering your franchisees to flourish, the possibilities are endless and favorable business results will likely follow.
Angela Olea is the founder and CEO of Assisted Living Locators, the nation's first senior placement and referral franchisor. A registered nurse, she initially launched Assisted Living Locators in response to seeing aging patients have unnecessary hospital readmissions and a lack of community support. As Assisted Living Locators CEO for the past decade, Olea has built the company into a nationwide senior placement and referral franchisor, with 130 franchise office locations in 36 states and the District of Columbia. Find out more about Assisted Living Locators here.