No matter what kind of business you’re involved with, there have probably been at least a few occasions where you have been curious about how your charitable giving could not only positively impact another person or another organization, but how it could also give your business a tax break. However, doing good for others can involve more than just writing a check and putting it in the mailbox.
That’s helpful, but there are other much more visible ways to show your charitable spirit, in turn inspiring your community at large, as well as the people who work for you. In some cases, your efforts may even start such a great surge of momentum that you get national attention without even trying.
Give to Local Causes
In an effort to spend money wisely, many people specifically seek out businesses that are doing good things locally. Chances are, if you think about your strengths, you’ll discover there are a number of ways to help people without going far from home. If you run a catering company, consider donating meals for the volunteers at a nearby summer camp that’s marketed towards children who have disabilities and want a safe place to have fun when school’s out.
Otherwise, keep your ear to the ground and try to stay informed about local organizations that may be going through hard times. If you get news that a local women’s shelter is struggling because a staff shortage, perhaps you could suggest that employees spend a few of their lunch hours per month doing administrative work or greeting people to fill the void.
Promote on Social Media
Don’t forget to depend on the power of social media to help your charitable efforts gain traction. One Mr. Rooter Plumbing location did that especially well when it launched a “Heart The House” campaign for the local Ronald McDonald house. In addition to encouraging staff members to donate, the campaign was announced on social media channels like Facebook, which gave it a much wider audience. Even people not from the area could immediately see how the company was dedicated to doing things that help others, not just by suggesting that taking action was a good idea, but actually doing it.
Participate in Company Matching
People are often much more likely to donate money if they know their funds will go a long way. You can provide a great sense of encouragement to hesitant donors by announcing your company will take part in a matching program where your company equals every amount donated by an employee. Not only does that allow the funds to be more beneficial, but it helps a donor feel that he or she is not alone in trying to make a difference.
Form a Team for Community Events
Depending on where your company is located, there may be several events per month that allow interested persons to form teams and do something positive to help others. Maybe that means spending a Saturday afternoon to tend a community garden that’s part of a homeless shelter, or perhaps deciding to have a sign-up sheet at the office for people who want to walk as a team in a charity event that raises money for multiple sclerosis. Doing something in the company of others often spurs otherwise reluctant people to take action.
It’s one thing to say your company is committed to being involved in charitable causes, and quite another to actually behave in a way that demonstrates the truth of that statement. There’s no harm in opening your checkbook and scrawling your name on the signature line in support of a charitable cause, but by also exploring some of the possibilities in this piece, you could make an even bigger impact, and encourage others to follow your lead.