As a business leader, you’ve probably thought about the best ways for your company to assist a philanthropy. Donating money every year is undoubtedly helpful, but it probably doesn’t hold a special meaning for you. Here are three creative ways that your company can give back to the community.

Giving Employees VTO Days

PTO, or Paid Time Off, is a fairly standard work policy. However VTO, or Volunteer Time Off, is a new policy that many employers are adding to their playbooks.

VTO gives employees an opportunity to volunteer during work hours. Initially you may think this will decrease productivity in the workplace, but it’s a great investment for the future of your company. Workers who get VTO are more likely to go above and beyond for their employers in times of need, thus increasing productivity in the long run.

In addition, providing your employees with opportunities to give back to the community increases employee loyalty, says It makes your employees proud that they’re working for a company with a strong commitment to the community, and they’re more likely to stick with their employer for a longer period of time.

“When employees are actively involved in giving back, it can lead to a deeper commitment and connection to the work,” says Elizabeth Stocker, a consultant at the Great Place to Work Institute, a company focused on building high-performing workplace cultures.

Downloading Tab for a Cause on Company Computers

How typical is it for you or your employees to have more than one internet tab open at a time? This normal, everyday practice can be turned into a charitable action with Tab For A Cause.

According to USA Today, Tab for a Cause is one of the simplest ways to raise money. When users open a new browser tab, the internet app will display a banner in the corner of your web browser, and the profits from these ads are donated to charity.

Users can choose which charities they want their profits to go to. A few examples of charities that partner with Tab for a Cause are Save the Children, which protects children during times of natural disasters or war, and Educate!, an organization that is helping transform education in Africa to lift youth out of poverty.

Companies Can Be Philanthropic to Their Employees, Too

Although slightly more uncommon, employers are offering incentives for their employees to stay with a company by offering to assist with housing costs — as long as their residence is near their workplace.

Currently, only three percent of companies help their employees with down payments on a home, according to a survey from the Society for Human Resource Management. But that might be changing. “The idea of paying for workers’ homes lost momentum during the recession but may be gaining new steam,” said Robin Snyderman, principal at Illinois consulting firm Brick Partners.

The concept of offering to help employees with housing has the potential to encourage employees to work longer, more productive hours and eases the stress of long commutes. It’s also good for the surrounding community as well. With more people living and working closely, it encourages spending and provides more money for community revitalization.

Giving your employees VTO days, downloading charitable software on company computers, and offering your employees assistance with housing costs are just a few ways that business leaders can give a new meaning to what philanthropy means. Do you have creative or outside the box ways of charitable giving in your company? Let me know in the comments!