Harnessing the Holiday Spirit: The Role of Small Businesses in Community Giving
By Darin Burt
There’s no better time than during the holidays—the season of giving—to make a positive impact on your community. And not just a token gesture of a few pennies in Santa’s kettle; we should believe in it from the bottom of our hearts and spread positivity to make the world a better place. As the saying goes, it is better to give than to receive, but there’s another truth: The love you send into the world, you will find, is the love that returns to you tenfold.
According to the MetLife and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index, small business owners actively engage in community giving, even in the face of economic challenges. A remarkable 80% of those surveyed have a clear mission involving giving back to their local communities. And it’s not just talk; the majority of small businesses have taken concrete actions to support their communities in the past year. In fact, an impressive 91% of small businesses believe that giving back to the local community is essential.
Giving back isn’t just about doing something nice; it can also do wonders for your business. Check this out: according to a survey by DoSomething.Org, a whopping 66 percent of consumers are more willing to support businesses with a purpose. And here’s the kicker—those purpose-driven businesses grew a staggering 28 times faster than the national average. So, giving back isn’t just good for the soul, it’s great for your bottom line too!
And let’s not forget about the financial perks. Donations to charity can be tax deductible, which means you get to save some bucks while doing good. As long as the charity you’re supporting is tax-exempt and your gift qualifies—whether it’s cash, sponsoring charity events, or giving in-kind contributions like property or equipment—you can take advantage of those deductions. It’s a win-win situation; your community benefits, and so does your business.
Engage with Customers to Help Pick Your Cause
Choosing the perfect organization to support during the holiday season might seem like a challenge, but you don’t have to decide alone. Involving your customers in this process can strengthen their loyalty to your brand and ignite their passion for your charitable efforts.
Start by creating an Instagram post or a web page that presents a range of causes and asks for customer input. Use factual information to showcase the significance of each cause, while also appealing to their emotions to convey why each one matters. Let your customers cast their votes to determine which cause they believe your business should support.
To build excitement, consider adding a countdown clock and make a grand reveal of your chosen charitable partner on a significant day, like Black Friday (November 24) or Giving Tuesday (November 28). Alternatively, spread the love by featuring a “Charity of the Week” throughout the holiday shopping season.
Whichever approach you take, ensure you keep your audience updated on the progress of your campaign through custom email marketing and engaging social media posts. By involving your customers in the decision-making process, you not only reinforce their connection with your brand but also foster a shared sense of purpose in making a positive impact on the community.
Partnering with Local Causes
When deciding on a cause to support, starting at the local level can be a wonderful and impactful way to make a difference. While it’s essential to consider initiatives that address broader regional, national, or global issues, don’t underestimate the power of giving back to your own community. Partnering with local causes not only strengthens your business’s ties to the community, but also allows you to see firsthand the positive impact you’re making.
Think about causes that align with your brand values and have relevance to your industry. Supporting local campaigns that promote public health or advocate for anti-smoking initiatives, especially being in the smoke shop industry, will resonate deeply with your customers and create an authentic connection.
Expanding your focus beyond the local community is valuable, but remember that local is where your journey of giving back begins. The love and positivity you spread in your community can have a ripple effect, inspiring greater acts of kindness and making the world a better place one step at a time. So, start locally, embrace the heartwarming journey, and let your compassionate efforts be the catalyst for change in both your community and beyond.
Volunteer as a Team
Giving back doesn’t have to be about money. Volunteering can be a powerful way to directly impact your local community.
Consider organizing a volunteer day where your team, along with your customers, comes together to assist a local charity or take part in a community event. To show your appreciation for their contribution, hand out shirts with your company’s logo and a special message that reflects the spirit of the occasion.
Not only do custom shirts serve as a thoughtful gesture, but they also act as a lasting memento, reminding volunteers of the meaningful experience they had while giving back, fostering a sense of camaraderie and inspiring continued engagement in future initiatives.
Celebrate and Share Your Impact
As the holiday season unfolds and your charitable efforts take shape, remember to celebrate, and share the impact you’re making. Let the world know about the real difference you’re creating through social media, newsletters, and blog posts.
By showcasing the actual outcomes of your charitable efforts, you not only acknowledge the valuable contributions of your customers and employees, but also inspire others to join in on the giving spirit.
This holiday season, embrace the joy of giving and making a difference in your community. Let it be a time of love, compassion, and making the world a better place—not just for others but for your business too. As you spread positivity and help those in need, also consider the causes that people care about deeply. Whether it’s supporting neighboring businesses, promoting environmental sustainability, or celebrating cultural diversity, your efforts will resonate with your community and foster a stronger connection. Every act of kindness, no matter how small, creates a ripple of positive change. Happy giving and happy holidays!