Giving back not only fosters goodwill, it also contributes to the overall well-being of employees and the community. Small businesses often go beyond direct financial donations, offering more creative and targeted ways to engage employees and make a difference. Consider:
- Employee Volunteer Programs: Encouraging and facilitating employee volunteerism allows businesses to extend their impact beyond monetary donations. Employees can actively participate in community service, contributing their time and skills to various projects.
- Education and Skill Development Programs: Businesses can invest in the future by supporting education and skill development initiatives. This can include scholarships, mentorship programs, and workshops that empower individuals within the community.
- Meal Donations: Providing a “fill the box” opportunity to battle food insecurity. For Thanksgiving, employee teams might provide the box and canned goods while the company purchases gift cards for the turkey.
- Supporting Local Organizations: Just like choosing local suppliers and vendors when possible helps stimulate economic growth within the community, supporting local non-profits can help address specific challenges in the region.
- Match Employee Fundraising: When employees donate their own funds to a cause, a corporate match is a great way to double the impact.
- Make the Big Check Meaningful: A corporate donation is always welcome, but most nonprofits are thrilled to have the opportunity to go out in the community and talk to people about what they do. Invite the nonprofit in for a “Big Check” presentation and gather employees for a 10-minute overview about the charity.
- Make it Competitive: Have some fun. Run an employee March Madness pool or a cook-off fundraisers. Let the winner select the charity for the corporate donation.
- Local Partnerships and Sponsorships: Collaborating with local businesses, events, or sports teams through partnerships or sponsorships not only promotes community engagement but also helps boost the local economy.
- In-kind Donations: Businesses can donate products or services to community organizations, schools, or events. This form of giving back provides valuable resources to those in need.
There are many diverse and meaningful ways for businesses to give back to the community. By aligning their efforts with the specific needs of the local area, businesses of all sizes can create a positive and lasting impact that extends far beyond their day-to-day operations.