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Why is volunteering and charity important for a small business?

By Samantha Garner | February 8, 2014

farmers marketBeing a successful business owner is about far more than profit. You’re a part of a business community, but the wider community as well. So it’s important to give back to that community, either through charity or volunteer work, whenever possible. Not only will you show that you and your business care about those around you – it’s just a good thing to do!

So, how can your business get involved with volunteering and charity?

Firstly, look for charities that you can relate to and believe in. Depending on the level of commitment you’re willing to offer, there are many different options within every community for charitable donations. Some small businesses sponsor sports teams, a community event, or a community project. Others make financial contributions on a regular basis.

If you’d rather donate your time, focus on your company’s strengths. If you’re an accounting firm, for example, you might provide assistance during tax season to single mothers or underprivileged families in filing taxes. If you own a construction company, you may consider gathering up a crew to pitch in and help build a domestic violence centre in your community, or contribute to the latest Habitat for Humanity project. If you’re a farmer, you may consider donating proceeds of a portion of your crop to the local food bank.

There are many ways to get involved and help out in your community that’ll make you feel great and also help to get your company name out in the media. Whenever possible, look at contributing to recurring opportunities like sponsoring a yearly marathon or providing an annual scholarship for a local college or university.

This charitable spirit doesn’t have to stop with you, either. Instill these values in your employees and communicate to your company the importance of giving back to the community. Consider charitable investments that are most in line with your company values and beliefs and make them a part of your corporate culture.

Donating can be easier than you think. Here’s one example: Hair salons have teamed up with Matter of Trust, a not- for-profit organization that uses hair clippings to make hair mats that are used to clean up oil spills. The hair clippings, which would have been swept up and disposed of anyway, are collected and donated to Matter of Trust to help contain spills.

Look at that — you could be socially responsible just by donating something that you would have thrown out anyway! As you can see, there’s a charitable option for just about every small business.

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