How Small Businesses Can Support NonprofitsThis last blog of the month still focuses on putting heart into your business, big or small. This week we are talking about showing the love beyond clients and customers and giving it to your community. Showing your city or cause that you care, can positively affect your business. Both individuals and businesses are urged to give back to their community. Small businesses can and should support charities. While it may seem like they have less to offer than large corporations, small businesses can make a big impact in their local communities. Keep in mind that their contributions don’t necessarily need to be financial. Small businesses are in the unique position to offer their services instead of, or in addition to, money.
There are many reasons to give to nonprofits. Giving not only makes you feel good, but can strengthen your ties in the community. According to the Wall Street Journal, 70 percent of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand that supports a good cause over one that doesn’t.
That being said, how can small businesses support charities? There are a number of different ways.
Volunteering: Getting together to give time to a local charity is a great way to support a cause. It can also be a great team-building exercise for your staff, although you should never obligate employees to join in. You may even invite customers to participate in a day of service.
Donating a percentage of sales: One of the most common ways to support a nonprofit is to contribute a small percentage of sales towards that organization. This could be from just one product or menu item, or a total of all sales.
Educating: Some businesses may be in the unique position to provide their own charitable services. Cafes and restaurants could partner with relevant nonprofits to provide valuable job training for those in need of service positions.
Choosing a charity
Naturally, business owners should work with a charity that supports a cause they believe in. The collaboration also has more cache if the two organizations make sense together. A common example is a pet food store supporting an animal shelter. If you serve food, it makes sense to work with a nonprofit that fights hunger. Coffee shops may want to consider organizations that fight poverty or other issues in regions where coffee is grown, like South America or Africa. Your relationship to the nonprofit is something to think about, but it doesn’t need to guide your decision-making process.
Potential issues: When donating a percentage of funds to a charity, it’s important to be as transparent as possible. Make sure the specific nonprofit is clear, exactly what percentage of each sale is being donated, and any other vital information, like whether any action is needed on the part of the consumer. Be sure to communicate if the promotion has a specific end-date.
Be realistic when setting fundraising goals. You don’t want to fail to meet your commitment. However, if this does happen, simply lengthen the promotion or contribute in other ways, like volunteering or posting signage in your store.
Working with a charity can boost your visibility in the community and help out an organization that’s doing good. You have very little to lose and much to gain from giving to a nonprofit.
These four ways small businesses can help nonprofits are by no means the only ones. You might find that something else works even better for your company. Tweak and adjust to find out what you and your employees enjoy that also gives maximum benefits to nonprofits.
What about your small business? What success have you had supporting nonprofits? What types of programs do your employees enjoy taking part in?