Imagine a child receiving her only holiday present thanks to a local toy drive, or how much blood is appreciated for a disaster victim who needs it. As we fall into the holiday season, it’s the perfect time to drum up corporate social responsibility (CSR) by giving back to our community. What’s so great about CSR is it not only supports those in need, but can also boost visibility for your company and help it thrive all year long. Even small businesses can have a big impact. Here are a few ways to get started.
Host a Holiday Drive – Place large collection bins in your office and invite the community to donate canned goods, toys or coats. Then donate the items to a local shelter for the holidays.
Volunteer – Enlist your talents. Perhaps you can offer free haircuts at a local women’s shelter or teach dance to underprivileged children. Want to volunteer with your team? Schedule a day to prepare dinner at a local shelter, which can boost employee morale.
Hold a Contest – Offer your product or service as the prize. It could be free financial planning sessions, personal coaching sessions or a basket of beauty products. Promote your contest on social media or connect with a local radio station that may run the contest on-air.
Host a Blood Drive – People often search for a way to help victims after a disaster, and blood is always needed. Consider contacting a local blood donation agency, such as the Red Cross, that can set up their specially equipped bus at your place of business. Many blood donor organizations even offer custom-made marketing materials to publicize the blood drive throughout the community at local libraries, community centers, etc.
Mentor Someone – Consider mentoring someone in your community who wishes to follow in your footsteps, or perhaps support an upcoming entrepreneur within NAWBO.
Participate in Community Events – Keep a branded tablecloth and bag of giveaways handy to have a booth at local events. Remember, the IRS offers a federal tax deduction for the assessed “fair market value” of your product or service.
Adopt a Family – Families who fall on hard times struggle to obtain basic necessities, making holiday gift giving impossible. Get started by reaching out to your local Salvation Army for names and ages of a local family in need. You and your staff can each choose a family member to ensure everyone receives clothing, a present and a gift card to Target or Wal-Mart.
Double-Give – Looking for holiday gifts for your clients? Why not donate to a charity on your clients’ behalf? Choose a cause that’s near and dear to your heart, or one that aligns with your clients’ passion. Your customers will appreciate the gesture as they read about it in the heartfelt note you send to celebrate.
Team Up – Sponsor a local sports team by providing equipment or uniforms. Or, donate a portion of your proceeds to a local school or charity that interests you.
Host a School Supply Drive – Invite community members to donate school supplies. Then schedule a day to present them to a school or class in an underprivileged area of your community.
Share the Joy!
It’s special to witness the joy of helping those in need. Be sure to capture those moments to share with your social media followers. You can even send a photo and caption to your local newspaper (remember to obtain proper consents from those photographed).
Giving truly is a blessing that benefits everyone involved. Organizations who give back to their communities not only touch people’s hearts, they remain top-of-mind—and that’s good for business.