Small businesses are anything but small; they make up the vast majority of the global economy, support hundreds of thousands of families, and have a major impact on the financial stability of every country in the world. That said, small businesses can also make a difference through their charity work and donations, especially when done with care and a strategic approach. Business owners who are new to the practice might not be aware of the many perks that come with charity work, but understanding the process and the benefits can help you find the best match for your business.
From the very beginning of your business journey and the moment you start your company, you can select one (or more) organizations that align with your values and support them with your presence as well as funds. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind when looking for the right way to give back to your community!
Is your business dedicated to ending hunger such as Feeding America, building homes such as Habitat for Humanity, fighting cardiovascular disease like the American Heart Association, or preserving the environment such as the Environmental Defense Fund? Of course, every small business aspires to contribute to all of the above and more, but you need to choose your battles since you can only do so much good at a time. For example, the Task Force for Global Health helps provide health assistance and eradicate diseases on a global scale. Considering the current circumstances, such organizations need financial support more than ever.
The most important element for choosing a charity is to select an organization that shares your purpose and brand values. That way, you’ll be able to establish a long-lasting partnership that will help your small business succeed and make a difference for the organization you support.
More often than not, small businesses start as local endeavors, which is why they need to leave a lasting impression on their community and find different ways to stand out among their competitors. In densely-populated regions such as Asia-- where companies sprout frequently, small businesses need to do their best to emphasize their local contributions.
As a result, a Hong Kong-based small business will typically look for a reputable Hong Kong charity that aligns with the brand’s values, such as a cancer support organization. Over time, the business in question will announce their fundraising strategy, share how they’ve made an impact, and make sure that their efforts resonate with their local audience. Consider it raising funds to help those in need and raising brand awareness with a single strategy.
Some small businesses are so eager to get more exposure (and to help grow their community by giving back) that they fail to do the proper research. The result? You risk giving away your hard-earned profits to a non-existent entity.
Frauds and scams are around every corner. Make sure that you do your research, conduct interviews, visit the premises where the organization is registered and meet the leaders of the charity. That might take time, but you’ll avoid potential lost investments and the damage to your reputation. Organizations such as Charity Navigator can help you find legitimate non-profit entities you can help.
Should you go with a smaller charity that’s just starting? Or aim for a larger organization that already has a well-established reputation, so that your brand can get some exposure when you give back? What about sending incremental payments or giveaways per every customer purchase or subscription, just like Bombas? Then again, you could set up a dedicated charitable account and set aside a designated sum every year for your charity of choice.
As you can see, you have all kinds of options. You can partner up with one organization, send money to several at a time, but the most important step here is to find a payment plan that works for you and allows you to protect your cash flow. Consider your options with your accounting team before you proceed.
Finally, this is just the beginning of your charitable journey. You’ll always be able to look for more opportunities to give back to your community and establish yourself as a small business with a big heart and a desire to do good – especially alongside organizations that share your values. Use these tips to find your ideal charitable match and build a strategy that will allow your business to grow and your community to flourish.