Philanthropy: Giving Back During The Holidays

How can Small Business spread the love during the holiday season?

The holiday season is here and more businesses are starting to feel the itch of generosity that comes around this time of year. Small Businesses tend to have a harder time indulging in altruism since they usually don't have the resources to throw at it, no matter what time of year it is. But the answer to that problem might be easier than you think; philanthropy isn't limited to monetary donations.

There are so many ways to be philanthropic, and here are just a few:

Donate your time. In fact, giving time can be much more meaningful to you than writing a check.

Your donation of "time" could be defined in many different ways:

  1. Organize a team of your employees to provide a community service in your company's name. Even just a few hours with a group of people can do a lot of good.
  2. If you bill by the hour, commit a chunk of time for the type of work your business does to a worthwhile organization or needy individuals.

Donate the use of your property. Do you have acreage, buildings, or equipment that a charity, non-profit, or other similar organization could temporarily use or borrow? Sure, you could just permanently donate some of those things, but we realize not everyone can do that and sharing the use may be quite doable.

Organize some kind of drive. In this case, you're the catalyst and wrangler for other people's donations. Choose what you're driving for, like food, clothing, or school supplies, and ask the community (and your coworkers) to donate those items.

Implement policies that do good and have feel-good results. Environmental policies are a good place to start. Start a recycling program in the office kitchen. Reduce your carbon footprint by encouraging bike use. A quick Web search can surface many other worthy ideas like those.

Start planning your next act of giving back now. It doesn't have to cost much and companies have reported benefits of philanthropy, like increased productivity, employee retention, great PR (and tax deductions), and more.

Happy holiday to you, your customers and your community!

 
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