by Justin Difazzio
We’re not even going to pretend to entertain the notion that you shouldn’t be giving back. Of course you should! But if you’re trying to make a case in your company or in your own mind for why it’s a good idea for your small business to give back to the community, the list below could help.
1. Giving Back Makes You Feel Good
This is the obvious answer to why you should give back to your community. It just makes you feel good. Helping out a cause you care about gives everyone involved the warm fuzzies. Those pleasant feelings also help you to feel more connected to the community in which you live and serve. That connectedness can, itself, lead to warm feelings. Before you know it, you’re just one big ball of generous warmth, and who doesn’t like the sound of that?
2. Giving Back Shows You Care About a Cause
This is a big one. Studies have shown that a huge number (some say as high as 90%) of people are willing to switch brands if they find one that better aligns with their values. Giving money to a cause shows existing and potential clients that you care about something. You’re not just in business for yourself if you’re giving money toward the betterment of the community. Connecting your brand to social issues can raise the visibility of both your brand and the cause you support. It’s win-win if done right!
3. Giving Back Can Help Promote Your Business
We’ve all seen those photos online and in the news of smiling faces accepting a comically large check. And whose name is on that check besides the recipient’s? It could be yours. Giving back can get you seen. It’s not the most selfless reason to donate, but it could be a big push in visibility for both your business and the cause you support, which makes it worth bringing up in this list.
4. Giving Back Can Be Tax Deductible
Speaking of not-entirely-selfless reasons to support a cause, tax deductions probably should make this list. Yes, it’s well known that donations can mean positive things for your business come tax time. Is it beneficial to you? Yes. But is that money you donate also good for the causes you support? Absolutely! Just because you can claim it on your taxes doesn’t mean you aren’t doing lasting good for your community.
5. Giving Back Leads to Networking Opportunities
Been to any charity events lately? And who did you see there? We’d be willing to wager that you rubbed elbows with other business owners and community members whose contacts your business might benefit from having. Get out there. Buy that ticket to the dinner or ball or auction. Start meeting the people you help, chatting about what causes you support, and drumming up more donors. And introduce yourself and your services while you’re at it.
5 Ways Your Company Can Start Giving Back
Obviously any organization would love to get a donation of cash. Many companies give a percentage of their profit to charity, whether for a year or during a promotion. Cash is a very tangible way to make a difference for a cause, but it’s often not the way that makes the most impact.
Giving of your time is one of the best ways you can help out. Volunteer yourself or your coworkers for an evening of charity work, a Saturday of trash cleanup, or something in that vein. Events like that can help your community, whether at large or within your company. Team building and making a difference? We’d say that’s a win!
You’ve got a certain set of skills that set you apart from other businesses in the community. It’s why you do what you do. Making use of those skills pro-bono for an organization in need can make a lasting difference. Designing websites? That’s a gift that could last many years. Interior design? Accounting? Janitorial service? Giving back via these services and skills can ease the burden on a not-for-profit and make you feel good in the process.
We’ve got a studio, cameras, lighting equipment, and much more, and we’d guess you have some specialized equipment lying around the office, too. Whether it’s tangible tools or just some extra space, letting an organization make use of it is another effective way you can practice giving back.
If you care about a cause, promote it! Not everyone has the means to shoot and edit and launch a video for a charity like we might, but simply sharing an event on social media or talking about it in your community can help. Raising awareness could be the best thing you can do for something you care about, since people can’t help a cause they don’t know about. And that ripple effect can really make waves.
Now that you know why and how, it’s time to figure out who. Start your process by making a list of what is important to you, whether in your community or in your own beliefs. Look at that list and see what local organizations may fit that list. Deciding who you’ll be giving back to is a huge step on the path toward finalizing a plan and making it happen. And with these tips, you’ll be able to encourage even the most reluctant board or boss to authorize some happy for your community.