The reality is that just about every business owner wants to make a difference. That might even go to the very core of why they started their business. To innovate, to do things “right” or to offer opportunities and options that didn’t exist before. But those ambitions sometimes fall victim to the busy day-to-day demands of running a business. Entrepreneurs can be feeling like they don’t “do enough” to give back. But how how to fit it?
First, remember that community contributions can be a valuable marketing tool. Sure, most of us don’t do nice things for the bells and whistles. But, if you’re doing good, there’s no shame in letting the world know about it. Why not lead by example, with the bonus of attracting the kind of people to your business, both staff or clients, who value giving back to the community.
Ideas for Action
We want to make it quick and easy to not just find time to give back, but to get excited about it and to understand your impact as you go. Whether you choose to use our tools for sharing or just making the most out of your awesome actions, we thought we’d give you a running start so that you can your team pumped—and even throw a little healthy competition into the mix.
1. Challenge Your Staff to a Goodness Contest
Have staff complete over a period of time to log the most volunteer hours and/or donations.
Reward the winning employee, office or department with a donation in their name to a charity of their choice, a paid day off, or company gear .
2. Start Logging Your Impact
Record your contributions and share them. Enter all those small donations, little volunteer events, and in-kind sponsorships that you do and share them. Consumers support socially active businesses, so show that you are one to support.
3. Encourage Staff to Track Their Volunteer Hours
Your company is the sum of it’s people, so leverage their good work! Encourage your staff to log hours and build their own impact profiles. As they do, those contributions will be combined into your company data. When they meet a given threshold, say 20 hours, reward their efforts. Try making a donation to a charity of their choice. Big companies call this “Dollars for Doers” but you call it whatever you want…it’s one of the perks of being a smaller company.
Another option is to award time off after meeting that same threshold. The NBA calls their version of this “24 for 24”. 24 hours off for 24 hours of volunteer service.
And if it’s good enough for the NBA…
The bottom line is that just because you aren’t a huge company doesn’t mean you can’t act like one! And when you do…share it!