While this may seem counter-intuitive, businesses that give back to their communities when times are tough economically are making a smart move both for the short- and long-term.
Now more than ever, people are choosing to shop with small businesses whose values align with their own. Supporting a cause–or causes–that align with your values as a business and that resonate with your customers can be a powerful tool for growth, and not just financially.
There are many benefits of businesses donating to charity that can not only positively affect your community, but your employees and you, too. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Short-term benefits of giving back
- Improving team morale: Employees who feel their employer is making a positive impact in the community are more likely to be satisfied with their job and feel a sense of pride in their work. Plus, regularly giving back to your community, especially through volunteerism opportunities, is a great way to improve employee engagement and satisfaction. Studies show that 93% of employees who volunteer with their company are satisfied with their employer, 77% feel an increase with their well-being, and 65% feel closer to their colleagues. So a win, win, win for all!
- Building stronger community relationships: Giving back to the community helps small businesses build stronger relationships with other local businesses and organizations. By promoting each other’s work and working together to give back to the community, you can increase brand awareness, reach new customers, and build a partnership.
- Boosting your brand image: When you’re actively involved in the community, you’re seen as a business that cares about making a difference. Not only does this set you apart from your competitors and attract new customers who want to support a business actively involved in their community, but it gives you positive exposure within your community. For instance, hosting a canned food drive can introduce new people to your business when they drop off donations. This also works for hosting community events such as a turkey trot or art fair that start or end at your business.
Long-term benefits of giving back
- Making the community a better place to live: One long-term benefit of giving back is improving the community around you. By supporting local causes, businesses can help address issues that are important to their community, such as poverty, homelessness, education, and healthcare. Your time, resources, or donations are contributing to helping lift those around you.
- Earning tax benefits: Giving back to charities can make your small businesses eligible for tax benefits, such as deductions, which are especially helpful when you don’t have a huge budget. These benefits can help cover or reduce the costs of your charitable donation, making it easier to extend the impact of your giving at a time when our dollars don’t stretch as far.
- Strengthening customer relationships: By supporting local causes and events, you’re showing that you care, are invested in the well-being of your community, and share the same interests and values as your customers. This can lead to increased support and loyalty from your customers over the long term and help you reach new customers through word-of-mouth reviews and recommendations.
Ways your business can start giving back to the community
Giving back doesn’t always mean making a financial investment–you can lend your expertise or time as well. If you’re not sure how to get started, here are a few creative ways you can easily adopt do good in your community today:
- Allow customers to roundup to the nearest dollar with point-of-sale donations: Point-of-sale donations, or charity donations at checkout, has become an increasingly popular way to support local causes. Using your Clover POS system, you can download the Donate at Checkout app from the Clover App Market and use the preset round-up feature to allow your customers to easily give back to causes important to them.
- Donate food or products to local schools and shelters: Donating extra resources to those in your community who need them is a great way to make a big impact without going over budget. This also works by hosting a community-wide donation drive where others can participate, too.
- Contribute your time and skills: Create connections and meaningful relationships within your community by offering to coach other entrepreneurs or community members on areas you’re skilled at. Not only does this increase awareness around your business, but it helps others learn key skills such as interviewing, resume building, accounting, and marketing.
- Offer discounts to community heroes: Using your POS system, you can reach specific community members through Customer Engagement Plus. With this suite, tools, such as Promos, makes it easy to send deals and promotions to the community heroes of your choosing whether that’s first responders, veterans, or teachers. The sky’s the limit and it’s a great way to let those around feel appreciated.
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