Inspiration

Mandy Kloppers

Ways of giving: how your business can help the community

These days, many entrepreneurs launch their business with two ideas in mind. The first, of course, is to run a profitable company and make money for themselves and their families.  The second, which many share, is to be in a position to make a positive impact on the world, whether in their local community or farther afield.   No matter what the size of your enterprise, or how long you’ve been established, there is no end to the ways in which you can make a difference.  Here are just a few approaches to get you thinking of which might be right for you.

Sponsor local groups

Schools, cultural groups, voluntary societies, they’re all crying out for donations to help them survive and continue their work.  Domestic abuse survivors groups, groups providing leadership to troubled teens, animal shelters, and many more all rely on outside financial help. Why not give through your business, by sponsoring events or supplying the equipment they need?  This not only benefits the group and their target recipients, but it also helps to cement your organization’s ties with the local community.  By staying local, your employees can become hands-on stakeholders, and you’ll also get to see the direct, positive results of your support.

Create a foundation

If you’re in the fortunate position of being able to support causes close to your heart and want to ensure that your charitable activities are sustainable over the long term, it may be worth setting up a charitable foundation.  This can ensure that financial help continues to be channeled to any number of groups or bodies that you want to support, and there is a clear structure of accountability and good governance.

Let your business become a hub for socially-responsible activities.

If you have a particular cause you’re devoted to, why not become the powerhouse by enlisting more supporters and increasing the positive impact you have. For example, if you’re concerned about cleaning up the local environment, why not invite thought leaders from other local companies to network at a summit and exchange ideas about how to address the issue?  Creating synergies via networks of other socially responsible organizations can magnify the reach and impact of your efforts exponentially.

Support via your local businesses

The negative impact of Covid on many small businesses has been huge, and a great number face closure and loss.   Why not look at innovative ways to support your causes by helping local businesses. For example, some café and restaurants already donate their unused food to homeless shelters at the end of each day.  If supporting these types of charities is something you are involved in, why not offer to buy the unused food to donate to the shelter?  This will provide a lifeline for a struggling business as well as supporting your chosen charity. The more you’re able to ‘pay it forward’ at this unprecedented time, the more you’ll be creating opportunities for others to ‘pay it back’ to their community later.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash