How Giving Back Can Improve Business

It’s the holiday season. Now more than ever, people reflect on their actions and focus on giving back. This week, Giving Tuesday kicked off the charitable season, when many focus on end-of-year giving.  Since it’s inception in 2012, this global giving movement raises over $300 million a year in 150 countries.  With 86% of US Consumers expecting companies to act on social and environment issues, it’s good to show how your business is involved in philanthropic activity.  So, how is your business doing its part to give back to your community? 

Here are seven simple ways you can improve your business and make an impact in your community not only in end-of year giving, but the entire year. 

1.  Tax Deductions: Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first!  Making charitable contributions decreases your tax liability.

2. Volunteer: Have your whole staff volunteer for a local nonprofit event.  Nonprofits are always in need of reliable volunteers to help run their events.  Whether it is taking tickets at the door, planting trees at a park, or feeding the homeless at a soup kitchen, extra hands are always needed.  If you need help finding what nonprofits you would like to get involved within your area, check out www.guidestar.org .  Guidestar is a database with over 2.5 million nonprofit organizations at your fingertips.

3. Sponsor a little league team: Contact your local sports recreation department or YMCA to see how you can sponsor a team.  Most sports team’s use the company logo on their team shirts, so a walking advertisement is a great added bonus to supporting local children in your community.

4. Donate goods or services: The majority of nonprofits hold annual fundraisers or events to raise funds in order to fulfill their mission.  Donating a good or service you sell to the charity event is a great way to give support.  For example, the local Boys and Girls Club might hold a dinner event every year with a silent auction.  Donating dinner for two at your restaurant will not only help the Boys and Girls Club raise funds for their cause, it will show the community your organization is supporting local needs. 

5. Collections for nonprofits: These small campaigns allow your organization to work together as one towards a greater cause.   Having an in-office canned food drive is an inexpensive way to give back to the local food bank or a family in need in your community.

6. Have a percentage of profit go to a nonprofit partner: When the shoes TOMS came out back in 2006, most people couldn’t decide if they actually liked the shoes or if they looked like ninja sandals. One thing was for sure, consumers could stand behind the mission that for every pair of TOMS shoes purchased, a pair was donated to a child in need. The term #oneforone was coined and the shoes couldn’t stay on the shelf. Now, TOMS is even giving back the gift of sight, water, safe birth, and kindness. They currently partner with 90+ giving partners in over 70+ countries around the world. Now we all may not have the resources and connections that TOMS shoes does, so start small. Pick a day of the year, where a certain portion of profit goes to a local charity.

7.  Overall feeling of satisfaction: Do you want your employees to be happier?  Boost morale? In a recent article, “The Neuroevolution of Empathy” published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, author Jean Decety conducted research that clearly demonstrated that. Giving back has an effect on your entire body.  When people donate to charity, the mesolimbic system, the portion of the brain responsible for feelings of reward, was triggered.  The brain also releases feel-good chemicals and spurs you to perform more kind acts.

Whether its your time, a financial contribution, a donation of goods, an act of kindness or the power of your voice…give back to your community. Not only do you feel good giving back, your community will notice too.

This year, Sawgrass Marketing is donating 10% of our profits in the month of November to the Plastic Ocean Project. .