3 ways for small businesses to give back to the community

Giving back can prove beneficial for small businesses, and there are a number of great ways to serve the community. 

While your small business likely doesn't have millions of dollars to throw at charities at will, there are still ways to give back to the community. Supporting your local community won't just help those you give to either, it will ultimately prove beneficial to your business, Mossberg & Company Inc., a print and marketing solutions provider, explained.

First, and perhaps most obviously, local charity work will strengthen ties within the community. Local customers will feel appreciative toward businesses that are willing to support their communities. Individuals are willing to show loyalty to supporters of local schools, sports, initiative and other related charitable efforts. In addition, charitable work can build relationships amongst your employees by promoting interactions outside of the work place. 

Giving back to the community is a powerful tool in ensuring that your business becomes a local institution – trusted and frequented by consumers. the majority of entrepreneurs give back, and many of them insist that it helps their businesses in the long run. In order to learn more about how you can support your community as a small business owners, read some of the tips below: 

1. Give to groups tied to your business goal
One way to support your community that will ultimately come back to help your business is to give to organizations whose mission is related to your business. For example, Greg O'Neill, co-owner of a small upscale grocery chain, told The Hartford Financial Services Group that he supports groups that promote healthy eating, feed the hungry and promote sustainable farming. These three causes are intimately tied to O'Neill's business, which is why he chooses to donate to groups that encourage them. The nonprofit organizations that O'Neill supports show their thanks by serving his food at events. 

2. Try upselling on a charity
Upselling on a charity is a great way to tie donations into everyday sales, the National Federation of Independent Businesses explained. For example, ask customers if they'd like to round-up their transactions in order to donate to a local cause. Or, set up an event in which a given percent of your small business's sales go to charity. You could even go so far as to match the contributions of your customers in order to increase the impact of the donation. You don't have to tie charitable gifts into purchases though. You could set up a donation jar somewhere that customers pass regularly in order to promote giving back.

3. Try "in kind" donations
It's not always money you have to be giving in order to support your community. sometimes it's as simple as providing a needed service for a local event, The Hartford Financial Services Group explained. Giving your products or services away is a great way to bring in business in the future. For example, Boston Brewing Company, the maker of Sam Adams beer, often provides drinks for local charitable events. By giving away its product, Boston Brewing Company doesn't just support local organizations, it has also tapped a powerful advertising channel. Ultimately, giving back to the community by providing free products or services will strengthen brand awareness of your small business. 

If you're a small business owner who would like to begin giving back to your community, consider the above three tips. Each has advantages and will integrate your brand into the community. Consult an expert if you don't know how to fit charitable support into your business's financial plan

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