The holiday season is a time when many people come together to celebrate. For small businesses, it is an opportunity to show their community spirit and support their local community.
Ways your business can give back to the community during the holidays
Sponsor a community or a charity
Small businesses can sponsor a community or charity during the holiday season to give back to their community. This can include donating money, goods, or services. Sponsoring a community or charity is a great way to show your support for your local community and help those in need.
Hold a fundraiser event
Hosting a fundraiser event during the holiday season can be an incredibly effective way for small businesses to give back to their community. Not only could such an event provide charitable donations and volunteer opportunities, but it might also help to boost brand awareness and build stronger relationships with customers. When selecting which type of fundraiser to organize, it may be helpful for businesses to consider their location, target demographic, and potential budget. For example, offering a seasonal festival or responding to immediate needs in the area can both be excellent choices.
Donate a portion of sales to charity
By donating a portion of their sales to designated charities, business owners can make a real impact on the people and organisations in need during this time of year. This type of charitable effort is also extremely beneficial for companies looking to extend their reach and improve relationships with other members of the community. Not only do these donations help those in need directly, but they demonstrate that the business itself cares about improving conditions within the local area. This can easily encourage more support and goodwill towards the business, especially from consumer segments that are passionate about social causes.
Donate your business' resources (products or services)
By donating products or services, businesses can not only make others feel better, but also demonstrate their commitment to helping their local community. For example, retail stores might offer free clothing and accessories to less fortunate families, while restaurants can provide free meals for those in need. Larger products and services like furniture or home repair can be donated to charity auction events.
Offer your time and expertise free of charge
You can leverage your background and skillset to help those who may not otherwise have access or knowledge to get a project completed. Not only will it provide much-needed assistance and resources to those in need, but it can also be incredibly rewarding for you. It can give you an opportunity to work on something that may not be available in your current field or career path, while giving others the opportunity to benefit from what you have learned or experienced.
Whether you choose to help out a local charity, teach career skills at a school, or mentor entrepreneurs in your neighbourhood, there's no limit to the ways you can make an impact with your knowledge and capabilities. You don't need extensive training – anyone who is passionate and motivated can share their skills for the benefit of others.
Volunteer for a good cause or establish an ‘office volunteer day’
Establishing an ‘office volunteer day’ could be an inspiring way to unify and motivate your employees while channelling their collective strength towards meaningful charity projects. With everyone dedicating several hours a week or month, individual companies can have a considerable impact on hunger relief programs, literacy initiatives, conservation efforts, and other worthy causes. Moreover, it can create a sense of fulfilment within the workplace unlike any other project could achieve. By organising regular office volunteer days, you could tap into greater employee engagement as well as contributing to your community. If employees feel they are working towards a good cause, it can increase their productivity by up to 30%. (LMU Center for Economic Studies 2014)
Provide a holiday meal
To get started, get in touch with local food banks or homeless shelters and let them know you want to help. Then contact grocery stores, suppliers, and other suppliers in order to purchase the groceries needed for your meal. You may even be able to solicit donations from businesses and individuals in order to reduce costs. Once everything has been acquired, create teams of volunteers who will block off the time needed to prepare, cook, serve, and clean up after the meal.
Collect toys or food donations
Toys can be given to children who may not have access to receive them otherwise and food donations can help supply those without enough resources during hard times. By holding a donation campaign, you will be able to reach hundreds of people with your message while encouraging your customers and members of the local community to participate in giving back. It’s important to think ahead when planning an effective donation drive; deciding on how long you would like it to run, what type of donations should be accepted and how they should be handled are all essential components.
Sponsor a family
This is an opportunity to sponsor a low-income family's Christmas, where you purchase presents from their wishlist. Doing this with your employees can be particularly special as you work together to make the holidays a special time for your family. To find a family to sponsor you can reach out to your local social service organisation.
Enable donations on your website
Encouraging donations on your website during this time of the year can provide an immediate impact in areas where it’s both needed and most appreciated. From tax-deductible options that collect funds for a chosen charity, to micro payments that support small businesses impacted by the pandemic – there are lots of ways to harness the power of your website visitors to give back.
Plus, giving visitors the opportunity to make a difference helps build trust and strengthens relationships in many meaningful ways. Consider presenting the donations page prominently on your website home page for maximum visibility. Furthermore, look for options that let you customize embedded donation forms with motivational videos or calls-to-action from people within your organization that have been personally affected by the issues they’re working towards.
Reward your employees
The holiday season is a great time to reward your employees for their hard work. This not only shows your appreciation for their efforts, but it also helps to build morale and improve relations between management and staff. There are many ways to go about this, but some of the most popular options include giving bonuses, awarding vacation days, or providing gift cards. Whichever route you choose, remember that the key is to show your employees that you care about them and appreciate their contributions.
How to identify charities and organisations?
The National Center for Charitable Statistics estimated in 2018 that there are more than 1.5 million tax-exempt organizations in the US, so finding the right charity for you can seem overwhelming.
Consider your causes
Reflect on your personal and company values - what are you passionate about? It's important to find a charity that aligns with these. Have any of your employees been personally affected by something that they would like to raise awareness of?
Do your research
Once you've narrowed down your options, it's time to dig into the information further. You can also check out rating websites like Charity Navigator, which provide detailed information on the financial health of different organisations. Reach out to the charities you are considering and ask questions about their work. Taking the time to learn more about a charity before you donate will help ensure that your money is going towards a cause that you believe in.
Think beyond cash
There are many ways you can support a cause even if it's not your money. Volunteering is one of them! You could also do leafleting, bake sales or other events that don't require cash but will help raise awareness for an organization in need.
When deciding what type of volunteering work best suits your skillset, considered both time commitment and skill level.
Volunteermatch.org shows organizations that need volunteers in a chosen city and date. You can also filter by causes if you have a particular area you want to support.
Why is it important for your business to give back to the community during this holiday season?
Show you care
There are many ways to give back, but one of the most impactful is by donating time or money to local causes. This shows that you care about more than just profit and that you're willing to invest in making your community a better place.
Creating new community connections
By working with local organizations and groups, businesses can help to build bridges between different parts of the community. This can lead to a greater sense of understanding and cooperation, as well as a more positive image for the business. In addition, giving back to the community can also help to attract new customers and employees.
Build trust and loyalty
Customers want to know that the businesses they support care about more than just profit. They want to know that their hard-earned money is going to a company that cares about giving back to the world around them. By donating time or resources to local organizations, businesses can show their customers that they are committed to making a difference. In turn, this builds trust and loyalty, which can lead to increased customer spending and positive word-of-mouth marketing. 62% of global consumers want companies to take a stand on issues they are passionate about, and 52% say they are more attracted to buy from certain brands over others if these brands stand for something bigger than just the products and services it sells, which aligns with their personal values. (Accenture 2018)
Establish your brand identity
Brand identity is everything when it comes to business. It's how your customers see you, and it's what sets you apart from your competitors. That's why it's so important to make sure that your brand identity includes giving back to the community. When your customers see that you're committed to making a difference, they'll be more likely to support you. And as your business grows, you'll have the opportunity to make an even bigger impact. So if you're looking to build a strong brand identity, remember that giving back can be a key part of that process.