Giving Back to the Community: Ways Your Business Can Help

Business owners and entrepreneurs often rely on community support to become successful, then find ways to give back to the community once they are a fully mature business. Supporting your local community can help startups build a good reputation, providing customers with a social incentive to work with your business and help it grow. Even small businesses that don’t have the budget for cash donations to charities can find ways to give back to their supporters and community using these low-cost strategies.

 

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Why is giving back to the community important?

Finding ways to support people in your community through charity work, donations and social support helps you and your employees feel good while developing a positive business culture. People want to work for employers who share their values and are committed to making a positive impact. If the company is involved with charitable support, employees can make a positive impact through their job, increasing their overall job satisfaction.

Related: 10 Perks and Benefits for Your Business to Consider

 

Ways your business can give back to your community

The partnerships you form with your business are key to long-term success, and having strong personal connections with local organizations and community members can help you maintain business during economic downturns or get the support you need to expand. If you’re ready to make giving back a regular part of your business operations, try implementing one of these techniques for making an impact on your community:

 

Donation drives

Hold donation drives in the workplace to give employees a convenient place to give their extra canned food, clothing or books to people in need. Partner with a local food bank, women’s shelter, school or charity and set an overall donation goal for your team. This can help create a sense of pride and camaraderie among your team members by knowing they collectively made a significant donation. Try hosting a friendly competition between departments to encourage everyone to bring something in.

Related: Donating Office Furniture: Tips for Office Managers

 

Volunteer days

Schedule group volunteering activities to double as a team-building opportunity and a way to give back. Ask for input on where everyone would like to volunteer and try to choose opportunities that your team will appreciate the most. If it’s in your budget and schedule, take a day off as a group and go off-site to interact with people in the community. This gives your team an opportunity to directly give back while also spreading a positive business reputation.

Some businesses offer employees a regular paid day off to volunteer at an organization of their choice. This is a great option for remote workplaces and businesses where employees can’t easily adjust their schedules to volunteer at the same time.

Related: Volunteer Coordinator Job Description Sample

 

Blood drives

Donating blood can save lives, and business owners can help their employees find a convenient way to donate by hosting a blood drive. The American Red Cross has a guide on how to host a blood drive at your business, including information on scheduling a mobile donation van to park outside your workplace. Your business provides the location and recruits donors and the Red Cross handles all the medical staff, equipment and tools for signing up volunteers and donors. Some blood centers also offer perks like a small gift card or a t-shirt to everyone who donates.

 

Partnerships with other entrepreneurs

Help promote other up-and-coming entrepreneurs by working with other small business for your company needs. When possible, use local suppliers for materials and equipment, hire family-owned restaurants for catering and give artisans free or discounted shelf space to promote their creations. A small donation to a young entrepreneur can make a significant impact in the growth of their business and inspire them to pursue their passions.

 

Sponsorships

Sponsor an event or a local youth organization to spread your name while also supporting a community program. You can directly sponsor an event by donating the cash to pay for supplies or take over an aspect of planning such as marketing or producing promotional content. Sponsoring sports teams and paying for their equipment is a popular way to connect with community members and support youth programs. You can find a team or organization by reaching out to your employees and finding out what programs important to them.

 

Pro bono work

Taking on projects without asking for pay is another way to support your community without directly spending money. Designate a small amount of time each week or month to helping out community members with free products or services. For example, a local restaurant could offer a regular free breakfast to serve the local homeless population.

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