10 Dec How can your business give back to the community?
In both large and SMBs “giving back” and the idea of corporate responsibility are blooming. Our last post explained Corporate Social Responsibility and its four pillars: the community, the environment, the marketplace and the workplace. In this post, we want to discuss the first two pillars and ways you can implement those in your company.
There are plenty of generic ways your business can give back to your local community, all of them good: You can have a food drive at work. Local food banks always need donations, especially at the holidays. Along those same lines, coat drives for your local homeless shelter are a great idea as well. However, we encourage you to think a little differently. Think about what your business does. If you’re an outdoor recreation related company, consider volunteering with a local trail building crew. If you work in the tech industry is there a mentoring program at one of the schools that your office could participate in, especially for kids interested in technology? If you own a bookstore, have a book donation drive for Toys for Tots. You see what we mean: take your company’s skills and find a way to use those to give back to the community.
Charitable giving aside, there are other ways to give back or incorporate the local community into your workplace. Buying local is a great option. If you’re purchasing gifts for clients or customers this year, choose locally made confections, for instance. Here in Grand Junction many companies give Enstrom Candy to their clients. If you’re purchasing gifts for your employees, consider something along the same lines: a local gift. A downtown gift card for shopping or dining during the holidays, coffee sold by a local coffee shop, even jackets made by a local company are all great gift options.
For many potential clients and customers these days, knowing your business cares about the environment is important. It’s quite possible that customers will choose one store or business over another based on what they know about that company’s environmental practices. It’s easier than you think to do some simple things to show that your company does in fact know the value of the planet.
First, implement a “paperless” policy if possible. Send contracts electronically, ask your employees to print as little as possible, email receipts, have employees use recycled paper for notepads, etc. Make sure your customers are aware of this policy so they can request to have their documents sent electronically. If it’s an option for your business, consider switching to solar power. Do little things like having hand dryers in the bathrooms instead of paper towels.
Outside of the office, consider a river clean up day or trash pick up day. These are small, local things that can have a huge impact not only on your community, but on your company’s PR. Use social media as a way to highlight what your company is doing to be good stewards of the earth and of the local community.
At Venture Advocates we believe in giving back. That’s why we offer an Angel Investor program to help entrepreneurs get their start with new businesses. We want to see our Grand Junction business community succeed and we know we can help. For more information feel free to email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.