Corporate social responsibility is much more than a buzzword. Giving back pays dividends for businesses large and small — and if your brand isn’t invested in your local community, you’re missing opportunities to keep employees satisfied and engaged, garner positive publicity, and gain brand ambassadors. In fact, 85% of Americans will switch brands to one associated with a cause, with 91% of Millennials willing to make the switch.
In a previous post, we talked about the many benefits of giving back, how our radio stations commit to public service, and some quick tips to show your brand cares. Keep reading for a deeper dive into ways to make a difference in your community.
1. Offer Employees Incentives
From giving quarterly “allowances” for causes employees care about, to offering paid days off for volunteering, there are many ways to boost morale and get your staff involved. Another idea is to host contests where, instead of a tangible prize, the winner gets to pick their charity of choice to receive a group contribution.
2. Share What You’re Best At
Think about your strengths and expertise. While your volunteering time and dollars are admirable things to give, you can also support local entrepreneurs, students, and organizations by donating what you do best. Depending on your business model, you may find you can teach a class, host a workshop, or offer your services free of charge.
3. Unite Your Team Around a Cause
You can create a bonding experience for your employees while donating time to give back in one fell swoop. Consider making your next out-of-the-office gathering a charitable one. Organize a fund run or bike ride, schedule time at your local food bank, pick up trash at a park or beach, sponsor a community event, or brainstorm a new event that’s all your own. The opportunities are as boundless as your creativity, and your team will enjoy a rewarding day away from work together.
4. Partner Up
They say charity begins at home. A great way to improve life in your community is to support non-competing local businesses with your wallet share. Make your purchases (professional or personal) through local shops or vendors where possible, so your money goes back into the place where you live and work.
5. Encourage Small Donations
Even pocket change can add up to make a big impact. Depending on your offering, you can share opportunities for customers to round up to the nearest dollar with their purchases, or give employees the option to donate a small portion of their paycheck.
These five ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ways to give back. And you may find that, once you get started, charitable giving and community service are contagious! When you lead by example, you create paths to new partnerships, more engaged employees, and new and loyal customers.