Being in business is busy so it is easy to lose sight of what is right in front you: your community. Take a step back and take a look at how you can give back to your neighbourhood. We are not suggesting to break the bank but we do know that a little funding and some time can go a long way. It’s also good for you because it opens up networking opportunities.
Social responsibility benefits businesses of all sizes from small to large communities. It’s been proven that giving back attracts new customers but, more importantly, it creates a happier and healthier work environment and a vibrant community. It’s like a refresher from the ordinary work day that benefits you physically as well as mentally.
Volunteering can also help build your brand and your companies reputation. When you have a cause that you support, it benefits everyone. Before any of this can happen, you will need to make a plan so everyone is on board.
1. Encourage volunteering
This is a good time to discuss what you and your employees can be part of in your local area. Look up volunteer groups and take up a cause that you can get behind from Church events to local art festivals.
2. Share your skills
Many communities have civic centers, learning hubs, library groups, community centers and seniors groups that could benefit from your knowledge. You could offer classes and seminars or be part of an ongoing group by offering computer help, resume building for young adults and business classes.
3. Sponsor a sports team or donate to a Kickstarter
Your community is always busy with growth in business as well as sports. Many sports teams for young kids could always use a helping hand for either equipment, rental space fees or travel funds. Today’s youth are always looking to start something entrepreneurial. If you see someone trying to start something you believe in, help their Kickstarter or better yet, start one for them.
4. Host an event
Many communities like to offer events that promote business, networking, the arts, and fundraising. Why not start a fun event that brings people out that could benefit the whole community. Events such as the Toronto Fringe Festival and local Christmas tree lighting festivals encourage locals to shop and stay out later while enjoying what their town has to offer.
5. Work on a charity drive
Do you know of any group that is need of funds such as women’s shelter, animal shelter or youth group? Many of these groups in our local communities are publicly funded and need ongoing money and support all year round. Any help and money can go a long way to help them keep it all running smoothly.
6. Collect for a local food bank
Every community has a hard-working food bank that needs constant help and supplies. Set up a box at work and place items in it to be dropped off every week or month. During certain times of the year, many items are important such as blankets, coats, toiletries, and mittens. Donate what you no longer use especially in the colder months.
7. Make giving back part of your referral program
You could help by starting a campaign that tells the public that if they recommend your company, you will donate a certain amount to a local charity or shelter. It’s win-win!
8. Donate old household items to women’s shelters and other charities
Women who leave a bad situation often leave with nothing but the clothes on their back. Shelters are always in need of clothing, toiletries, and reading materials. Many charities also help families who have lost their homes and possessions due to a fire. Helping people rebuild their lives takes many helping hands.
9. Help out with the SPCA and other animal shelters
It’s hard not to resist the fur babies in need of help. Animal shelters are always looking for volunteers to take care of the cats and dogs as well as food, bedding, and companionship. Many companies sponsor pets that are in need of a new home and add them to their social media. Every little bit helps.
10. Game for 24 hours for the Extra Life Challenge for a children’s hospital
This is a fun event that your company can easily do. With some time and lots of coffee mixed with a great group of people, it can be a fun way to get involved. The idea is to game for 24 hours while raising money for your chosen children’s hospital while playing video and board games. This is a worldwide event that raises awareness of the need for help as well as much needed funding.