The Benefits of Getting Involved in Your Community

by Thom Tracy

2 min read

There are many good reasons for getting involved in the community where your business operates. Business owners who carve out time and make efforts to improve their local community tend to be viewed as local leaders, which can bode well for sales. Also, it gives proprietors and their employees a certain amount of pride and satisfaction, knowing that their pursuits are promoting goodwill and making positive contributions. The spirit of [volunteerism] (https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-news/pages/promotingvolunteerism.aspx) shows that businesses are not just focused on profits. It’s a smart idea to explore how your business can make a difference in your local neighbourhood.

Customer Perceptions

Making community service a part of your business plan sets your organization apart from the competition. When considering different options, many consumers consider giving their business to companies that are socially responsible. Small businesses have ample opportunity to rub elbows with existing clients and prospects alike. For example, sponsoring charity events such as golf tournaments is an excellent way to give back to the community while attracting the attention of potential customers. Retail businesses might consider donating a portion of proceeds to certain causes on designated days, engaging patrons, and strengthening relationships.

Employee Satisfaction

Employees want to feel a sense of worth and belonging outside the workplace. Businesses benefit in two ways when encouraging workers to donate time or money to charitable causes. Community service efforts foster a sense of pride among participating employees, [boosting internal morale] (http://www.forbes.com/sites/drewhendricks/2013/12/18/how-charitable-giving-can-boost-office-morale-while-helping-the-community/#3dd40fc32a00) and even increasing productivity. In addition, performing charitable acts tend to give individuals a good feeling about themselves. For example, consider adopting a local cause and giving employees the chance to volunteer at food banks or homeless shelters during work hours. Pick key internal leaders who will spread enthusiasm through the office and relay the message outside it.

Gain the Respect of Peers

It’s likely that your business is not alone in the arena of community involvement. While your customers are out there doing their part, so are other business owners whose operations may naturally dovetail with yours. Belonging to the ranks of organizations who want to make a difference helps your business gain respect in both social ranks and the business community. Your peers, which include competitors, will view your efforts favourably. Creating a partnership with related businesses may not only get you some solid referrals, but it will also help create a synergy that furthers your cause.

Relay the Message

While donating money to rehabilitate a park or playground could be done quietly, there’s no harm in letting your customers and the public know about your campaigns. Often, business owners feel that donating anonymously is the proper approach. However, this method does little for the cause itself. Including blurbs about your efforts in newsletters and press releases help raise awareness among customers and business partners. Your good work may spur other people and organizations to action, while helping to promote your business.

References & Resources

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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