We are heading into “The Season of Giving” and many organizations choose this time of year to encourage their employees to join their corporate giving program. Charitable Giving is not a new idea, so the information I am providing you is not the beginning of some new amazing trend.
My goal is to simply inspire you to give throughout the year, not just when it’s popular.
To start with, develop a culture that inspires your employees to increase their involvement in their local neighborhoods using specific methods associated with your product or service, as a way to promote your company, increase profits and gain local exposure.
Give the community an opportunity to witness your good deeds, as well as benefit from them. In turn you will begin to earn their respect and love.
A recent social and philanthropic movement called, “Effective Altruism” maintains that specific acts of altruism are required and if you have money, it is your moral duty to give to those who need it.
The actual movement is a good idea however, personally I feel its ultra-extreme nature will be its demise. Sure, you should give to those in need, but it goes against traditional, “Living the American Dream” thinking to force someone to give.
Donating to a specific cause is the quickest route to take to solve any problem and if you have the money than by all means give it away. The most generous man in history is Bill Gates, not because he donates to charity, but because of the ENORMOUS amount of money he donates to charity. The rest of us don’t have billions to donate, so monetary donations may not be the best way to serve the community.
If you choose to donate, give time instead of money. Put a team together and go to a local shelter to teach something. Say you’re an IT guy. Imagine what kind of effect you would have on a child in a homeless shelter if you taught him a few simple programming tricks. You could spark enough interest that he goes to school and follows in your footsteps. You may not just brighten their day, you may inspire them in ways you could not imagine.
Many big corporations take this route. They sponsor people, events, local and national sports teams, and charities. They can afford to through a ton of money at someone or something in order to put their name on it.
It's is a great way to help those who need it, but it’s not very personal and doesn’t truly show how you feel or what you believe in.
As a small business, if you choose to sponsor something than make it personal. Sponsor a local 5k, but put a team together and run in it. This will show you not only care enough to help put it together, but that you want to participate. You’re telling them you truly care for their cause. If you’re not an active bunch, than volunteer to help. Don’t just put your name on the event, be a part of it and people will begin to see you’re not just the money behind the event, you’re also the hands that made it happen.
Organize your own Event
There is a charity for pretty much anything you can think of and almost every community has a multitude of grassroots efforts for a variety of needs. Find a charity that is a “Natural fit” for your business and create an event for them, such as:
• 5K/10K or Fun Run
• An auction
• Concert or dance
• Car Wash
• Fashion Show
• Basketball tournament
• Or many more…
Say for instance you’re a physical therapist. You could have an auction that raises money for a local senior center. Your vendors could all be those that appeal to seniors like craftsmen and women, bus tour services, senior community center, retirement communities, etc. You will be helping them raise money and awareness for their needs, promoting local businesses, and marketing yourselves as well.
Be creative when being of service to your community. There are so many ways to help, and too many causes that need it. The idea of being charitable or serving your community to build your business seems a bit self-serving, however you are being charitable and serving the community, and the way I see it that’s GOOD BUSINESS!
So what's your story? Email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org The best (or worst) one wins 100 business cards from Metro Printing Center plus I will share your cause on next week's page.