It wasn’t too long ago that contributing to charities and embracing social responsibility was something nice to do for business. These days, however, it’s almost an absolute must. As time moves on, more consumers than ever are starting to take on board who they buy products and services from, and the same goes for the workforce. People want to feel like they are contributing and supporting good causes, and will actively choose organisations that suit their own ideas when it comes to buying things or taking on a job.
However, this can often cause trouble for small businesses. When profits are tight, and margins are low, where, exactly, do you find the money to contribute to charitable causes? And how can you possibly compete with huge, global organizations that literally have nothing else to do with their money? The good news is there are a few solutions – and no excuses. Here are some ideas on how small businesses can start getting involved with social causes.
Donate your services
Lots of nonprofits out there rely on volunteers, free products, and time – not just money. So, if your margins are really tight, why not contribute your time or spare physical goods to a good cause? Whether you volunteer your time doing some marketing for a local charity or helping renovate a community building is up to you – but you can make a difference without spending a dime.
Your local community supports you, and as a business owner, you have a responsibility to try and make a difference. Would you be prepared to step up if, say, there was a natural disaster in your locale? The likes of Cane Bay Partners are currently contributing to their community in the Virgin Islands, by helping raise money for the disaster effort after the terrible hurricanes that happened recently. It doesn’t have to be on this scale, either. Perhaps there is a community sports club struggling to pay pitch or court fees – and your sponsorship can help them survive. There’s a lot you can do; you just have to open your eyes and take a look at what is going on around you.
Empower your employees
As we discussed in the intro, your employees want to be able to make a difference to the wider world, and the reality is that working for your firm alone is not ticking all their boxes. So, why not give them the opportunity to do so? Perhaps you could offer them a day every month or quarter to do some volunteering, or just provide them with lots of opportunities to get involved with charitable projects. If you can ingrain a program like this into your company culture, you’ll find you can have a huge impact with a few resources – and attract valuable, productive employees.
Be part of something.
Finally, bear in mind that your business philanthropy efforts should be dictated by your actual company, not your personal views. It’s important to focus your help when it comes to charity, and you need to establish what everyone who works for you wants to do first. Once you have everyone on board, it can make a huge difference – not just to the charitable cause, but also to the atmosphere in the workplace.