By Princess Jones
Your business is as much as part of a community as you are. Money is pumped into the local economy through the wages and taxes you pay. Your business provides products and services to the people who live in the community. If you have a brick-and-mortar presence, you have a physical presence there.
And since your business is an active part of the community, you may want it to also contribute to local causes or organizations. By supporting and uplifting causes, your business can give back to the community and help other organizations thrive. Whether you have time or money to give, there are plenty of ways to participate.
Group volunteering is both fun and effective. If your organization has a significant number of employees interesting in giving back, you could spend a few hours volunteering together. You might volunteer as a group at a food bank or soup kitchen, for example. Just remember that many places really appreciate if you give them a heads up that you’re bringing a group. Also, keep in mind that volunteering can not be a work requirement for your employees or you may run into legal trouble. (It is volunteering, after all.)
Maybe you (or your staff) don’t have a lot of time on your hands. You can still find ways to give back. Instead, considering offering discounts to your customers who support causes you’re interested in. Let’s say you sell dog treats. You can offer discounts to customers who adopt shelter dogs. Or if you have a chain of restaurants, you can offer 10 percent off to guests who bring a canned good to donate to local food banks.
By donating a percentage of the sales to a cause, you are allowing both your customers and your employees to participate in the giving without doing anything different than they’d normally do. For example, you might give 5% of every pie sold in your store during the month of November to men’s health organizations as a part of Movember. There will be some customers who may spend a bit more knowing you are supporting a cause they believe in. You might also tally the sales numbers of those pies for your employees and make those donations in their names.
Another option might be to donate actual services or product to an organization. Bakeries often do this with day old bread and pastries. It’s not something they would sell but food banks might be able to use the product. Or maybe your store is closed on Sundays so you allow a charity to use the space for a meeting to cut back on their costs. Think outside the box! Where there’s a will, there’s a way.