Being a charitable person can help someone feel better about themselves and make an impact on the community. It’s even more important to be a charitable business because your organization can have an even greater effect by helping others. Not only is giving back the right thing to do, but it can also help make your business’ reputation be stronger with your customers.

Here are 10 easy ways your small business can help your community.

Volunteering

1. Donate to a Cause

The first way your company can help others is through donations. It’s best to pick one cause to focus your donations on to make the most progress with helping your community. You can do something simple, such as donate a portion of your profits each year, or you can develop a program where your staff can also contribute. Some companies offer employees incentives for helping out with a charitable cause. At the end of the tax year, your company can take advantage of some tax exemptions for donations as well.

2. Volunteer Man Power

While monetary donations are always appreciated, non-profit organizations are also looking for people to help out by volunteering their time. A business owner can commit a few hours a week to a chosen charity, or your team could organize volunteer days with a group of staff members going over to the organization every few weeks.

3. Sponsor a Sports Team

Many communities also offer businesses the opportunity to support the local youth by sponsoring a sports team. You can help supply the team with its season necessities by committing to a sponsorship, and you’ll also get some advertising help along with your sponsorship.

4. Support a School

Your region’s schools also need some assistance throughout the year. Talk to your school’s principal or PTA president to get ideas about what help is needed to give students more access to engaging learning activities. Sometimes, all you need to do is send a small donation to make a difference in the lives of local school children.

5. Commit to Cleaning a Road

Another way to be charitable to your town or city is to invest in sponsoring a local road. Work with your city planners to choose an appropriate busy thoroughfare to adopt and get your name put onto a sign advertising your support. You can get help from your staff to periodically walk the length of your sponsored road and pick up trash to keep it clean.

Office recycling
photo credit: London Permaculture

6. Focus on Green Business Practices

Your company can also help the planet if you make a commitment to green business practices. Research ways your company can reduce its carbon footprint and make it a priority to choose recycled products for your paper supply. Look into adding solar panels to your office space if possible to help save more on your energy bill and be more efficient.

7. Offer Help to the Church

There are also many different charitable options for businesses at local churches. Even if you aren’t religious, you can help your fellow citizens by partnering with a faith-based organization. You can follow the lead of philanthropist and business leader Eugene Chrinian, who has made it his mission to set an example about doing charitable things for others.

8. Be Active in the Community

To truly reap the benefits of being charitable, you’ve also got to get your business to be as active as possible in the community. Whenever there are big events in your town, such as races, fairs, carnivals, or parades, be sure to get your name out there and helping residents. This way, your name recognition will instantly improve.

Grilled cheese truck
photo credit: Kevin Stanchfield

9. Patronize Other Local Establishments

Another part of being a community player is by supporting other businesses in your area. You don’t always have to see everyone else as your competition; instead, work together with other companies in your area and join up to do even more for the people of your town. Whenever possible, patronize other local places, such as restaurants, car dealerships, retail stores, and more. The more money you put into the local economy, the better your business can possibly perform.

10. Offer a Scholarship to Students

One final way to offer support to the people in and around your area is by focusing on the future generation. Show the community that you’re committed to helping others by creating a scholarship fund for students in your company’s name. Make the selection process very competitive to get the best possible results from your investment. Advertise to your customer base the details about your scholarship to make it more likely one of your customers may be awarded the prize. This could be a significant point in your ability to maintain a positive reputation in your community.

Conclusion

Being a partner to the people in your area means you’ve got to do your part to help others. As a business, you should be able to do more than the average family. It’s worth it to invest some of your profits into philanthropy because it’s the right thing to do and it helps your overall bottom line.