Photo By: Ben Schumin (Flickr)
Why not volunteer or have your employees volunteer to ring the Salvation Army’s Samaritan bell?
The Best Ways to Give Back During the Holidays
As a small business owner, you are constantly thinking of ways to promote your company. I’m a firm believer that one of the best ways to put the spotlight on your business is to give back to your community. Giving back makes the people in your community want to solicit your business. It tells them you care about them. The holidays are one of the best times to give back, so let’s toss some ideas around, so you can figure out the best way your business can give back during the holidays!
Sponsor a Holiday Event
The end of the year is the time charities come out and solicit their final donations. Why is it such a busy time for nonprofits? Because it’s the last chance for their constituents to get in a tax-deductible donation for the year. This includes you, the small business owner, and sponsoring a charitable event is a perfect way to give back to your community, while getting your name out there, and a tax deduction to boot! Check out your local nonprofit organizations to see if there is a holiday event that you’d like to sponsor.
Get Your Employees Involved
If you don’t have the money to sponsor a charitable event, it still doesn’t mean that you can’t help and give back to your community during the holiday season. There are plenty of events in need of volunteers, so why not set up teams of employees to help. If allowed, your employees can wear company T’s to get your business name out into your community, and you will most likely be mentioned for your efforts. On top of that, your employees will feel a sense of camaraderie and purpose as they volunteer together for a local charity.
Set Up a Food Collection
The holidays are a particularly hard time for those in need in communities. They are also the perfect time to tug at your employees and customers’ heartstrings. Just because you aren’t running a food shelter doesn’t mean you cannot support one. Contact your local food nonprofit and find what it can use to feed the hungry in your town. Then, set up a collection at your storefront or business and encourage everyone to bring at least one item on the list. If you own a food service company, donate any qualified leftovers.
Set Up a Clothing Collection
The homeless and hurting in your community need more than food, they also need clothing, warm blankets, and other necessities. By contacting your local shelters, you can find out where the greatest needs are, and then, again, encourage your employees and customers to donate to a worthy cause. Once you’ve collected the clothing items and other necessities, take them to the nonprofit and feel better knowing that your business is helping somebody out there stay warm on a cold winter night.
Set Up a Toy Collection
Let’s not stop at food and clothing, why not also collect toys for the USMC’s Toys for Tots drive or your local toy drive. Most communities hold toy drives every year. Sometimes the toys are kept for the children in your town; sometimes they are shipped to other locations where needy children live. It doesn’t matter either way, does it? All that matters is that your business is putting smiles on young children’s faces.
Don’t Stop With People
I’m going all out in this discussion about the ways that you can give back to your community during the holidays and people aren’t the only needy beings this time of year. Contact your local animal shelter and pet adoption agencies to find out what supplies they need to keep the needy animals in your community healthy and happy, as well. You can also volunteer at your shelters and other local pet adoption centers. No matter what you choose to do to give back, remember animals could use a little holiday joy too!
Ring the Samaritan Bell
We see them this time of year everywhere, the Salvation Army’s Samaritan bells and red collections pots outside happily chiming for donations. Guess what? You and your employees can be the bell ringers and raise money for your local Salvation Army. You can even dress up as Santa if you want, I imagine! Contact your local Salvation Army chapter to find out when and where you can ring the Samaritan bell to say, yes, my business gives back to its community because it cares!