Why Your Business Should Get Involved in the Community

Why Your Business Should Get Involved in the Community

C orporate social responsibility isn’t just for large corporations. Whether you run a large established company or a small startup, your business has the resources to contribute to positive change in your community.

For many businesses, with so much going on, it can be hard to figure out precisely how to get involved – or understand why it’s worth it. You may already be working on countless strategies for marketing or building consumer relationships. As it turns out, however, investing in corporate social responsibility will not only help your community, it will also help your bottom line.

Corporate Social Responsibility: A Breakdown

The term corporate social responsibility (CSR) turns local and global community work into a business practice. While only a fraction of companies today participate in CSR, the idea is becoming mainstream. One of the major driving factors behind a more widespread adoption of CSR initiatives is where consumers spend their money.

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t believe in helping the poor or saving the Earth, because most people care about the world’s problems. According to a recent Nielsen survey report, more than 55 percent of people worldwide are willing to pay more for products and services from companies committed to supporting good causes. Of survey respondents, millennials show the most passion and willingness to put their money where their mouth is.

For Fortune 500 companies like Starbucks and Microsoft, CSR can involve a more global approach. For example, Starbucks commits to a philosophy of ethically sourcing its coffee and paying farmers a fair wage for their labor, while Microsoft has pioneered a movement to teach technical skills and computer science to youth all over the world.

How Your Business Can Get Involved

While your local business may not have the resources to donate millions of dollars to the eradication of global poverty, there are still plenty of ways to adopt a mission of CSR.One great way to get involved is by partnering with local organizations. By opening the lines of communication with neighboring nonprofits and charities, you’ll get a better sense of what your community needs and how your business can help.

Communities’ needs differ from place to place, but here are a few of the ways your business may be asked to contribute. [starlist]

  • Sponsor an Event . Local soup kitchens, animal shelters, and community environmental organizations always need and appreciate help. Your business can help by providing financial support. Work with individual organizations to figure out how each participant can benefit from the exchange.
  • Start a Donation Box. If you have a retail store, start a collection box for charitable contributions to local organizations. Patrons can drop off tangible items, like nonperishable food or gently worn clothing. You can also ask for a small monetary donation, like $1 for a local organization as an add-on at the checkout counter.
  • Donate Products or Services. If your company offers a service or product that could benefit a local organization, this is a great way to get involved. For example, if you have a food service business, donate excess food items to a local food bank or soup kitchen. On the other hand, if you run a plumbing company, volunteer your time to facilitate much-needed repairs for a local homeless shelter or nursing home.
  • Start a Mentoring Program. Low-income community members sometimes lack the necessary skills to start earning a consistent living wage. By providing free on-the-job training hours, you can help these individuals gain valuable work experience. You can also start an internship program for local school-aged youth or college students to learn similar skills that will serve them as they prepare for the future. All business contributions matter, whether you’re giving time, money or manpower. Not only will you help your community grow stronger, but you’ll also receive tangible business benefits like tax deductions, a boost in brand visibility and a new level of consumer engagement. What’s a better way to boost your bottom line?[/starlist]

All business contributions matter, whether you’re giving time, money or manpower. Not only will you help your community grow stronger, but you’ll also receive tangible business benefits like tax deductions, a boost in brand visibility and a new level of consumer engagement. What’s a better way to boost your bottom line?