Did you know that giving back to your community can boost your bottom line? According to a recent study by Cone Communications, “more than nine-in-10 millennials would switch brands to one associated with a cause” and “62 percent are willing to take a pay cut to work for a responsible company.”
While an employee volunteer program is an excellent way for businesses to give back to their community, many companies are exploring new ways to contribute, while simultaneously driving employee engagement and having a great overall impact. Cultivating a culture of giving at your company is not difficult. Here are seven ways your small business can give back.
1. Encourage Your Employees to Volunteer
Some of the biggest companies in the world offer paid time off to their employees in order to encourage volunteerism for a charity of their choice. You can start by giving your team members a set amount of time each month or year for volunteer activities, which in turn can improve morale. This will also enhance your company’s community involvement. Alternately, you can carve out a dedicated day for your whole organization. Volunteering as a team increases team building within your company.
2. Support a Green Initiative
The environment is a huge concern for most people, and staff members may be interested in finding ways to mitigate the issues they see every day. In order to reduce your carbon footprint or cut waste, you can partner with local environmental advocacy groups or charities to support green initiatives in your community.
You could even gamify such initiatives by starting a plant-a-tree program to decorate your office space. Other initiatives in the green sector include river maintenance and clean-up efforts or e-waste recycling programs.
3. Sponsor Youth Sports Teams
Look for a local sports team to sponsor and then help them out with raising funds. This is an excellent way of getting some friendly publicity — you can put your company logo on the team’s uniforms or banners.
4. Start a Charity Drive
Whether you want to give clothes to the Salvation Army or food items to your local food bank, you can set up a charity drive within your company. Encourage your employees to bring in things to donate for a specific period and then celebrate as a team when it is time to give them to charity.
5. Donate Your Skills
Share your expertise, knowledge and skills with the local community. For instance, if someone on your team is a website designer, they could build and maintain the website for a local non-profit organization, or design fundraising brochures for them.
6. Offer Gift Matching
With employee matching, your staff members can select a charity of their choice and you as the employer can match their donation up to a certain amount. This allows them to make a difference at organizations that are close to them, while your business also expands its charitable reach.
7. Support Small Businesses
According to the Small Business Administration, almost 50 percent of the private workforce consists of small business employees. So whenever possible, try to buy products and services from small businesses — and don’t forget to spread the word about the work they do.