There are many ways to define a business, from a corporation to small businesses, but at the most basic level any business entity can be defined as a grouping of individuals. While the primary responsibilities of these individuals working as a group is to generate profits for the owner or shareholders of the business, many businesses set aside time, resources, and money to give back to individuals in need and the community at large through various charitable acts and endeavors.
Giving Back To The Community
It is hard to argue that small business and corporate giving is anything but a “win-win” for everyone involved. The beneficiaries receive welcome help and support, and the business can generate goodwill in the community, improve employee morale, and may even receive tax deductions. It is only natural that if you do give back to the community in some way, you will want to promote this action to both new and existing customers. In fact, your charitable initiative may even revolve around donations made by your customers. How can you incorporate charitable projects and work with your normal business operations in ways that are both successful and tasteful in equal measure?
Finding The Right Charitable Niche For Your Business
If your small business is interested in becoming more charitable, you may be wondering how you should go about doing it. Luckily, with the right intentions and a bit of research, there are very few ways to do it the wrong way. As long as you are acting honestly and are contributing to a reputable charity or organization, you are doing the right thing. However, by aligning with the right charitable organization or movement, you may be able to raise more money or awareness or contribute in more beneficial ways. For instance, if you own and operate a successful construction business, you may have the financial resources available to make a significant monetary donation to any organization, and any organization would greatly benefit and appreciate such a gift. That being said, if a construction business were to align with a charity that built affordable housing or housing for victims of natural disasters, you may be able to stretch your donation much farther through such methods as providing experienced volunteers, loaning equipment, or even leveraging business contacts and relationships to help make financial donations for supplies go even further.
Alternative Ways Of Helping
For some businesses, charity is something that only happens once or twice a year in the form of a monetary donation or a charitable event. For other businesses, charity is something that happens every day, sometimes with every business transaction. This can take the form of an ongoing donation of a certain percentage of sales, while other businesses may choose to rely on socially-responsible suppliers, such as coffee shops that only purchase fair trade coffee or even a business that chooses to only purchase blank t-shirts from a company that manufacturers clothing in the United States. At this point, the line can begin to blur between charity and social or even political consciousness. Helping third-world farmers could be seen as a form of charity, but choosing to only deal with a domestic supplier could be viewed as a political, rather than charitable, decision. Another factor to consider is how such charitable integrations may affect the profitability of your business. If donating a portion of your profits or dealing with suppliers that may raise the cost of your products is threatening the viability of your business, you may need to reassess these initiatives, as going out of business doesn’t help you, your suppliers, or the organizations that you support.
Involve Your Customers and Clients
Many businesses create charitable campaigns and initiatives that depend on the donations of customers. You have likely been asked at least once at a checkout line if you would like to make a small donation to a particular charity, or you may have been asked by an employer to make a donation to a charitable initiative. In most of these cases, the business or company in question has agreed to match such donations or to make their own donation in kind, which is both a boost to the initiative and to the image of the company as one willing to participate. Before you create and launch such a campaign, ensure that it follows all laws and regulations and that you have the infrastructure in place to necessary to collect and distribute the donations you collect.
In our next blog post, we will discuss the ways that you can successfully promote your charitable endeavors through your marketing, especially your content marketing and social media channels.