Many small businesses take the opportunity to get involved in their local community and support a charity. Nonprofits and charities are constantly looking for funding to help accomplish their goals, and giving can be really beneficial for your business. Besides, your company’s success doesn’t just include the one ingredient of your hard work. It also includes all the loyal customers who could be a part of local nonprofits and charities.
SBut picking a charity is not as easy as it seems. Set aside time to research an organization that fits your company culture and values. Then, think about what charities your customers support. Review additional factors such as the frequency of donation periods.
No matter what you choose, here are a few ways giving back can help your small business.
1. Tax Deductions:
Your business can claim your volunteer hours and contributions on your income taxes. By itemizing your deductions, you can write off any time your business spent volunteering and you can add monetary value to any donations given as well and claim them, too. Make sure you are working with a nonprofit organization that is approved by the IRS. The only way to get the most out of these deductions is to have a record with the charity’s name and the donation amount or amount of time you worked.
The types of donations that are tax deductible include volunteered services, sponsorships of charities or events, donations of inventory or services, and cash donations. In general, you can get deductions of up to 50 percent on your adjusted gross income when you follow the tax code closely and incorporate charitable giving into your business model.
Companies like LUSH Cosmetics have always made giving back to their community a core part of their mission by selling products where a certain percent of the sale goes to one of over 400 grassroots charities they support. It not only gets the company involved with giving back to their community on a large scale but they also offer the opportunity to their consumers to help.
2. Employee Benefits
Employee perks have escalated to new levels in the last few years, with start-ups leading the pack with yoga days and catered food. Increasingly, people can choose to be picky about their workplace, given their qualified skillset and experience levels. In a 2007 study by Deloitte on volunteering, 62 percent of 18-26 year olds questioned “would prefer to work for a company that offers volunteer opportunities [to their employees].” What this means for your business is that you have a better likelihood of attracting the type of candidates you want working for you if you offer these types of experiences.
Getting your company involved with your community is great way to boost morale and keep your employees happy. Giving your employees time to participate in events during work hours is fun for the whole business. Not only does it give everyone the opportunity to interact outside of the office space but it also allows them to feel like they are giving back to the community that has supported your business.
3. Free Publicity
Sponsoring a program and volunteering your business’s time are a great ways to not only raise awareness about a specific cause but also promote your business in partnership with an organization or event. You can get the word out about the event by posting on your social media platforms and your website.
Kabbage does one volunteer project each quarter and posts news, pictures, and information about the Camp Twin Lakes and other projects on the Kabbage Kares section the website. Taking pictures of your charitable endeavors is a great way to generate press for your business and the cause you are volunteering for. Chances are the nonprofit you are working with will also promote your business on their website and event signs by posting your logo. Lending your brand to a specific cause is a great way to convey your company culture and values to your community.
4. Gain Customer Support
Giving back to your community will help you gain massive traction with your consumers. A 2010 study done by Cone Communications revealed that 85 percent of consumers have a better outlook on businesses that give back to a charity they care about. This means it would be valuable for you to do some market research to identify the most backed causes in your area.
Hook & Ladder Brewing Company out of Silver Spring, Maryland, took this concept and really made it work for their business. They started a program called “A Penny in Every Pint,” which donates a portion of beer sales to local firefighting communities, focusing on burn treatment and awareness.
Participating in programs like these shows your customers that you truly do care about your community. Using some portion of your profit for good is a great way to rally the support of your consumer base.
5. Giving Back is Good For You
The best benefit of having your business support a nonprofit charity is the feeling you should get from giving back to others. You have the power as a community to stand up against poverty, human rights violations, and more. Organizations like GLIDE, Make-A-Wish, and Junior Achievement make it possible for your business to give back to your community.
So meet with your employees and find out their interest. Join your community and fight a cause that means something to them. Choosing the right charity that will truly give you the full benefits of working with a nonprofit, so get involved, get your employees and customers involved, and really try to make a difference in your community.
This article was written and posted by: Madie Hodges at www.kabbage.com