Many small-business owners want to make a difference but don’t know where to start. Learn how your business can give back to the community with these 7 ideas!
Trying to brainstorm ways your business can give back to the community this year?
After a rough year like 2020, you might be eager to find ways your business can give back and support those who were hit the hardest by the pandemic. But if the pandemic affected your business, too, then maybe you can’t afford to donate extravagant amounts of money to your favorite charity.
So what do you do?
Well, you can always put out a simple collection jar on your store counter. But that rarely raises enough money to make the kind of impact you want to make.
Instead, we have a few strategies you may want to try. Check out these 7 creative ways your business can give back to the community. And the best part is—these ideas don’t have to break the bank!
1. Host or participate in a fundraiser for your community.
If your community has an annual fundraising event, you may want to organize or sponsor it this year. If you own a restaurant, consider hosting and catering the event with your delicious food.
These are great opportunities because you get to give back and market your business at the same time.
But if sponsoring or catering is too expensive, consider donating a few of your products as prizes for the fundraiser’s raffle or drawing. You could donate one of your most popular items or simply a gift card to your store.
This idea isn’t just for retail stores. If you’re a service-based business, consider donating a coupon for one of your more popular services. For instance, if you’re a car mechanic, consider donating a free oil change.
Remember, the prize you donate doesn’t have to be extravagant—people love free!
2. Give employees paid time off to volunteer.
Consider selecting a day when your entire company volunteers together for a good cause. Or you can allow employees to take PTO for volunteer work at their own discretion.
However you decide to go about this, giving your team paid time to volunteer shows them that giving back isn’t just an afterthought to you. It’s something woven into the fabric of your company culture.
Trust us, when you make it clear that giving back is a fundamental part of your business, word gets out. People start paying attention and realizing you’re the kind of company they want to do business with.
3. Donate to a charity a percentage of all sales you make over a specific period of time.
This idea can double as a marketing strategy if you promote it like you would a sale. For instance, if you decide to donate a portion of all sales you make in December, then create social posts, emails, and maybe even ads telling people about it.
People love the idea that part of what they spend on your products or services will go to a charity they admire. You’ll likely see a spike in sales during that time!
4. Teach free classes to other aspiring entrepreneurs in your area.
Consider this a mentorship program of sorts. There are plenty of people who are struggling because they can’t seem to get their foot in the door of their desired profession.
As a successful small-business owner, you have knowledge and experience that can help people wanting to start their own businesses. Share what you’ve learned to help people in your area make more money for their families.
After the hard hit COVID-19 had on the economy in 2020, this might be one of the biggest ways you can make an impact in your community this year.
5. Offer free (or discounted) services or products to local nonprofits.
There are plenty of ways you can implement this idea. If you’re a restaurant, consider offering free food for an event. As a car mechanic, offer free services on the nonprofit’s official vehicles. Or if you’re a marketer, offer some free consulting or copywriting.
The opportunities to give your products and services to nonprofits is endless! And remember, if you can’t afford to give things away, you can always offer them a discount instead.
6. Match donations your employees make to local charities.
Make giving fun by matching employee donations to approved charities!
You can make this strategy even more exciting by turning it into a friendly competition. Tell employees that the company will match funds for the employees who raises the most money. Keep a tally on a board in the break room or office suite so team members can see how they’re stacking up against their competition.
7. Let nonprofits advertise in your store (or on your website) free of charge.
This one literally costs you nothing and yet it can make such a difference! Consider allowing a local charity to put up an ad on your store counter or bulletin board. Or advertise them on your website and social media.
You can even allow them to set up a table inside or outside of your store for a day or two to advertise or ask for donations.
Did these suggestions spark any ideas for you? We hope so! Tell us in the comments below how your small business plans to give back to the community this year.