Giving back within the community helps attract new customers and employees while making your business happier and healthier. Giving back also introduces networking opportunities. Giving back to the community can boost your brand’s recognition and reputation. But when you’re a small business owner, you’re on a tight budget and may not have the funds to be as philanthropic as you’d like to be. Here are some ways small businesses can engage in giving back.
Create a Plan
Quarterly, sit down with yourself and/or your team and discuss the various ways your business can make the community and the world at large a better place and then make a plan. Perhaps a team member suggests switching to a digital system from a paper-based invoicing system. It’s better for the environment by saving paper and reducing trash and save your business money by eliminating the cost of paper and ink.
Sponsor Youth Sports
It’s probable an employee or someone you know has a child on a sports team. Once you decide on a team to sponsor, you can help them out with the funds that they need for uniforms or other equipment. You can get easy publicity with your logo on the uniforms or banners. It’s a simple and effective way to support your community with a minimal time and financial investment.
Promote other local businesses. This is one of the most effective and easiest ways of giving back to the community. Buy locally as often as possible and leave reviews for them. Add links to your favorite local companies on your website. Also look for or create beneficial cross-promotions for your business and your partners.
Encourage volunteerism by offering paid time off for volunteering for a charity of their choice. Allowing employees to volunteer for causes they care about, enhances employee happiness and helps in recruiting and retaining talent. Give employees specific paid days for volunteer work and it will improve morale. Your business’s community awareness and involvement will also increase.
Teams can also volunteer for organizations like Habitat For Humanity. Since most projects are on weekends, your work week isn’t disrupted. This action increases team building within your organization.
Show off Skills
You possess a wealth of valuable talent, expertise, and knowledge, as a small business owner in your community. Display that talent by teaching classes or a specialized skill. Volunteer for a local nonprofit. You’ll increase awareness of your business.
Sponsor a Local Event
Sponsoring a local marathon or other event is a great way to support the community. You and your employees can take it step further by attending and cheering the participants perhaps in some branded gear. Donate supplies they might need like bottles or water, snacks, or tents—all of which can also sport your logo.
Your business can still be charitable by starting a clothing, book, or food drive, if money and time are in short supply. Your employees may have some great ideas for you. Helping local drives for charity can be an extremely cost-effective option. Start by donating the items a local nonprofit. Homeless shelters and food banks always need help and supplies. This way you can help in small ways throughout the year.
You can partner with a nonprofit as a part of a referral program. Perhaps you and your team plan on volunteering at a local animal shelter; wear matching t-shirts that say something like recommend us and we’ll donate to the animal shelter in your name.
Donating a small percentage of your profits or fees to a charity that’s important to you will add up over time. You don’t have to make a massive million dollar donation to a charity to make a difference.