4 Ways Your Small Business Can Give Back

As a small business owner or CEO, it’s easy to look at big businesses and dream about the different things you could do with their resources. You could pay larger salaries, purchase better technology, and invest in causes you believe in. While this is true, to an extent, there’s nothing stopping small businesses from being generous.

Volunteering employee

Whether you bring in $1 million per year, or $10 billion, there are ways you can prioritize philanthropy and be generous with the resources your organization has been blessed with.

4 Possible Ways to Give Back

Giving back – whether with your time or money – is highly beneficial for small businesses. Not only does it help people, charities, and organizations meet specific needs, but it also improves your business relationships, broadens your experiences, provides indirect marketing exposure, and enhances employee satisfaction within your company.

If it’s not already obvious to you, here are some ideas regarding how you can give back in the year ahead:

1. Donate a Percentage of Sales or Profits

If you don’t have the time to spend working with a charitable organization or philanthropic cause, you can always send money and let them put it to use. One strategy is to donate a percentage of sales on a given day, or a percentage of your overall profits.

This is something The Drug Rehab Agency does. They donate 10 percent of all profits to a fund that helps people get into rehab centers. Not only does it help these individuals, but because they’re working with their very own clients, they’re simultaneously strengthening business relationships.

2. Set Up Employee Volunteer Days

Giving money is great, but there’s also something to be said for asking your employees to dig in and get their hands dirty. This helps them contextualize how your company is helping the local community.

Many companies have found value in setting up employee volunteer days. You can do the same by offering paid time off on select days and giving employees a list of organizations and causes they can partner with.

If you’re looking for companies to model your volunteer program after, NuStar Energy is a good one. Each year, they allow employees to use up to 60 hours of paid time to volunteer in the community. Employees love it, the company builds inroads in the community, and dozens of charitable organizations are helped.

3. Sponsor a Local Cause

Who says you can’t invest in philanthropy and brand exposure at the same time? This is best accomplished through sponsorship of a local cause. With a little research and creativity, you should be able to find different charitable events, clubs, and funds that are looking for sponsors. Reach out and find something that aligns with your company’s philanthropic values.

4. Give Charitable Bonuses

When you really get to know your employees, you’ll discover they aren’t as self-centered as you may assume. While they certainly want to get promotions and raises, they’re also interested in giving back to causes that are near and dear to their hearts.

As part of your annual bonus system, consider setting up a program where employees can qualify for bonuses that can then be passed on to their favorite charities. This involves employees in the giving process and connects your company with organizations that otherwise might not have been on your radar.

Make Generosity a Core Value

There’s immense value in giving back. As you look for ways to be more generous, consider addressing the topic of corporate philanthropy and integrating generosity – specifically at the community level – into your core values. It’ll permanently change the way you operate and lead for the better.


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