Does it make good business sense to support a charity?

As a small to medium sized enterprise, have you thought much about supporting a charity and how it can help your business? And if so, what is your strategy? Do you have one?

Firstly, it makes more sense to build a relationship with a particular cause rather than making ad hoc donations. Choosing a local cause is a good place to start. And a charity or organisation that relates in some way to your area of business, or to your personal interests, also makes sense. If you work in the area of art prints, for example, you may wish to lend your support to local artists.

Local fund raising events can provide excellent business networking opportunities. Maybe investing in a whole table at a fund raising dinner and inviting customers and people you’d like to do business with to be part of your table. If they are unable to attend, at the least you have started communications.

It’s not only through donating money that you can offer support. Your business expertise can be of valuable support. For example, schools will often invite local business owners to come and speak to the children, offering an insight into various career opportunities. This could be developed into mentoring programs or school visit taster days to your business premises.

Have you thought of involving your employees in ways which support local charitable organisations? Serving food at the local homeless hostel or offering support to special needs schools are ways in which local businesses can support their local good causes. The added benefit is the building of team morale among your employees, as well as allowing them to feel that they are working for a worthwhile company.

Maybe you could offer support to members of staff who do voluntary work for local charities. For instance, they could use the office printer for small projects, or make use of one of the office meeting rooms for a meeting or event. email secure server Perhaps you could give one day off a year so that they can attend and support a charity event. Think carefully about the time and resources that you can afford as a small company. You can still make a huge difference in small ways.

It is important to find ways in which to let people know what you are doing to help your community, but to do this in a way that doesn’t come across as boastful. Make use of your social media channels, your website and your local media to make people aware, and promote your choice of charity or organisation through these channels as well. Track what you do, let people know what you do, and encourage them to help support your cause.

It makes sense to support your local charity, even if you are a small business. As well as making you feel good, it raises your visibility and enhances your reputation. So plan your strategy and lend support.