Your first priority as a business owner is probably building a successful business and making money. This is perfectly understandable, but once you have overcome the initial hurdles of growing a business, it is important to start giving something back to your community.
Many business owners neglect this important philosophy. Instead, they concentrate on making more money, without giving a second thought to those less fortunate in the community. However, giving something back is more than pure philanthropy; it can also benefit your business and brand.
A Learning Experience
People who donate their time and resources to community projects are happier, healthier and more fulfilled. Employees who take part in voluntary programs are more engaged in their job and happier with their lot in life. As a business owner, you can learn from this.
You don’t need to work for a non-profit organization to give something back. Anyone, including business owners, can pour time and resources into helping community projects and inspiring employees to do the same.
Follow the Example of Successful Entrepreneurs
Successful entrepreneurs understand the value of giving something back to the community. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have used their billions to set up a non-profit foundation. Gurbaksh Chahal is another great example of a successful entrepreneur who believes in the value of giving back to the community.
Chahal sold his first business for $40 million. He could have gone on to live a life of excess as many do, but instead, he chose to use his insights and help others face their challenges head on. He has also founded the Chahal Foundation, a non-profit organization that focuses on ending child labor, improving education in third world countries, helping young entrepreneurs, empowering women, and offering aid to disaster relief programs.
The Advantages of Giving Back to the Community
Creating a non-profit foundation is probably beyond the scope of small businesses, but there is still a lot you can do. Large corporations spend millions on community projects and schemes to help others. For them it is all tax deductible, but while their motives might be somewhat self-serving, there is value in their good deeds.
Giving back is good PR. People love philanthropic good deeds and businesses that give back are viewed in a more positive light. Giving back also helps to get your brand out there, which is important if you market your products and services to your community. Setting up community projects is also a useful way to boost team engagement and encourage team building. You can encourage employees to focus on charities and schemes they feel passionately about.
How to Give Back
Your business can get on board with the principles of giving back to the community in many different ways.
The simplest way to give back is to assist employees in their philanthropic good deeds. If you have an employee who is running a marathon in aid of their favorite charity, offer to sponsor them. Or, let them have some paid time off to help our local community causes.
Many small businesses also choose to sponsor community events. You could provide a prize for a local fair or agree to pick up the tab for a community event. In return, your brand will appear in prominent locations and on all advertising materials.
Set up an outreach program where you and your employees go out into the community and organize schemes to help others.
It doesn’t matter what you do and how you do it as long as you do something. Instead of sitting in your office counting the money, give something back – this is what sets you apart from your competitors.