Giving Back to the Community Is Good for Business
Feel Good and Reap Tangible Business Benefits Too
Paying It Back Pays
Investing in your community is a great way to give back to those who have helped support your business. Volunteer groups and non-profit organizations do so much to help the communities that all of us are a part of but they can't do it alone.
Many people really enjoy the intangible benefit of giving. Giving back to the community gives you a pleasant feeling of connectedness and the satisfaction of at least trying to make the world a better place.
Investing in Your Community Is Also Good for Business
There are tangible benefits to giving back to the community, too. For one thing, if you give enough, you'll be able to use the charitable deduction on your income tax. For another, giving back to the community is an excellent way to promote your business and get the word out about your products or services.
Right now my local newspaper is filled with photos of business people presenting cheques to the directors of charitable organizations, which is great publicity. Charities and non-profit organizations are only too happy to recognize donors by thanking them in published literature, websites, and at supported functions.
Partnering with a charity to sponsor an event is great exposure for your business and potential customers like the sense of being able to combine their pleasure in patronizing a business with the pleasurable sense of helping others.
Supporting charities and attending charitable events is also great for networking. In addition to gaining customers, you may have the opportunity of meeting other business people and developing relationships with complementary businesses.
Many businesses use their normal promotional venues to mention their favorite charities by adding statements such as "Proud Supporter of ....." to business tag lines on email, websites, and on social media postings on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Ways Your Business Can Give Back to the Community
As successful members of the community, we have a responsibility to help those that are less fortunate and contribute to the common good. I feel this so strongly that it's been a longstanding practice of mine to donate approximately five percent of my income to charitable organizations. In some years, I admit, this has been a lot less money than other years, but every little bit truly helps when it comes to good works.
When my business was in the red and I wasn't able to give money, I gave my time, volunteering with local organizations that were able to use my skills. There are so many organizations that need a pair of helping hands - especially a pair of helping hands that are regularly available.
There are many other ways for your business to support the community, such as:
- Enter a float in the annual parade, or decorate a vehicle at Christmas (one of the concrete companies in my locale creates a beautiful light display on one of their cement trucks and drives it around town in the evenings)
- Support a kids sports team
- Donate the use of a delivery vehicle for a local function
- Offer your business services at a local event (for example, one of the local computer shops organizes the wifi services at the annual town festival)
- Donate to the food bank
- Have coin donation boxes and/or sell tickets for a charity event at your business
- Donate a portion of your sales to a charity on a particular day or for a time period
- Give a charitable or community group a meeting or work space on your business premises for free (a local pub, for instance, provides a large conference/meeting room for an animal charity's trivia night fundraiser each year)
Don't Just Do It at the End of the Year
Perhaps in the holiday season, more than at any other time, our hearts go out to others. But there are always those who are less fortunate than we are and will appreciate our help all year round.
Give what you can regularly to the charities that make a difference to your local and national community. You may be surprised at the benefits you reap!