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Giving Back: How Your Small Businesses Can Support a Cause

There is much to be said about the importance of supporting a cause but from a purely business perspective, remember that today’s consumer wants to do business with socially responsible brands. Not only will you be providing invaluable support to a cause of your choice, but consumers will respect your efforts and that is a key marketing advantage.

But, how do you go about supporting a cause when you are operating a small business? Here are some ideas you might like to try.

Two Birds with One Stone – Team Building at Its Very Best

No, you can’t build hundreds of Ronald McDonald houses around the nation but your company can volunteer time and services to local Ronald McDonald houses or Kiwanis Family Houses like the one in Sacramento, California. Are you a construction company? Perhaps they need a few rooms renovating or a new wing to add rooms for needy patients and/or their families.

There is nothing that inspires your team to work well together than by giving them a project that actually benefits the community. Some may volunteer their time and others may need to be paid, but that is one of the very best ways to kill those two proverbial birds with one stone. Give back to your community while building closer connections within your teams!

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Offer a Percentage of Profits from Select Merchandise

For just a moment, think about all that merchandise imprinted with pink ribbons sold in literally every store imaginable across the U.S.A. From t-shirts to lapel pins to reusable shopping bags, everyone knows that a percentage of all that merchandise sold goes to support breast cancer awareness and research.

You could do something like that on a more local level. Why not get custom lapel pins made so that you could donate a percentage of the profits to a charity or cause of your choice? Perhaps you operate a local gardening nursery. You could always market lapel pins that support a huge number of green projects from climate control awareness to ridding the earth of chemical pesticides. Not only would you be racking up the sales but those pins would both make a statement and support a cause near and dear to your company’s mission.

The Snowball Effect of Donating Time and Expertise

Most charities simply don’t have the budget to hire the labor or professional services they need in day to day operations. Just like some companies send out teams on team building activities like those mentioned above, you can offer invaluable knowledge and expertise in your line of work.

Say, for example, a local battered women’s shelter had outdated plumbing causing continual backups which are both irritating and hazardous to the health of women and children staying in those shelters. You are a local plumber who could do the work but you may not have the financial resources to lay new pipes. Get the local hardware stores involved in your efforts. You are giving your time and expertise while you are presenting other local businesses with the opportunity to donate as well. It’s amazing just how a community will come together when approached with a need and a common goal.

Chose Donations That Can Make the Biggest Impact

Finally, the one thing to remember is that you are just a small business. You cannot possibly hope to compete (at this time!) with large corporations like Mickey D. You can, however, choose to keep your donations and support local, and that might have the biggest impact of all.

Giving something worth $5,000 may have little impact on a national cause but giving something worth $5,000 to a local women’s shelter would have a huge impact on their ability to serve your community. Remember, not only are you providing an invaluable aid to the cause of your choice but you are also building a brand by raising an awareness in your own community. Even the smallest of mom and pop brick-and-mortar businesses can give to a cause but choose wisely for the biggest impact. That’s what counts.

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