As a small-business owner, a large part of your company’s success is dependent upon continued support from members of your local community. Small-business owners rely on the support from neighbors and local organizations to grow their business and expand their services; it only makes sense for local companies to give back.
Small businesses can give back to their communities in a variety of ways including participation in local charities and organizing or sponsoring community events. Any small business involvement with non-profits and local government is a great way to build your business’ presence in the community.
The best way to start giving back to your community is finding a shared value between your business and community members. For example, if a local school has a teacher battling cancer put a collection basket in her honor at your front desk or by the cashier. This serves as a great foundation for mutual trust with community members. Here are a few ideas and organizations to help your business give back:
What’s important to your community?
What do the members in your community value? How can your charity or volunteer efforts make a difference? These are questions to ask yourself before deciding how you plan to give back to your community. Upgrade school textbooks through financial donations or provide the local scout organization or Little League team with new uniforms. If you own a restaurant, allow local organizations to serve your guests one night per week to help raise money for a good cause. These are ways to help position your brand as a business that cares about local needs and respects community ideals.
Provide employees with an outlet to give back
Canadians are naturally charitable and willing to volunteer their time. In fact, 13.3 million Canadians in 2010 volunteered more than two billion hours their time to assist charity organizations. As a small-business owner offering company-wide volunteer programs is a win-win, it’s a great way to attract honest Canadian workers to your company and their presence at volunteer organizations positively reflects on your business.
Many companies offer paid-time-off once or twice a year for employees to volunteer for a local charity of their choice. You can also organize full-staff volunteer days during or after work to help team bonding and provide leadership opportunities to increase overall job performance and fulfillment.
A country-wide organization, Volunteer Canada has connected individuals and businesses with volunteer centres, local organizations and national corporations to promote and broaden volunteering programs, research and training tools since 1977. Volunteer Canada has relationships with more than 200 volunteer centres and more than 1,200 community groups. This is a great starting point to get you connected with community organizations and volunteer opportunities near you.
Habitat for Humanity Canada
Habitat for Humanity is a tremendous organization providing underprivileged partner families with new Habitat homes. The building process for these homes is completed by Habitat for Humanity volunteers. Habitat for Humanity Canada has 65 affiliates in 10 provinces and two territories – find your local affiliate here. This is a great team bonding idea as your staff needs to work together in a brand new environment to accomplish a shared goal for a great cause.
All businesses list company values on websites, letterhead and business cards, but do those companies routinely act on the stated values? Ensure your reputation as a small business that takes action and gives back to its community by following these tips and suggestions. Make sure to check back with Vistaprint Canada for more tips and techniques on how to grow your small business and receive decades of continued success.