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Small Business, big impact: Three simple ways to give back to the community

Updated: Oct 26, 2022

It’s the season of giving as many businesses make charitable donations. Contrary to what you may think, it’s not just large companies making a difference or benefiting.

End-of-year giving—and philanthropy throughout the year—is significant from the small business community. A collective force, small businesses comprise 99.7% of the U.S. employers, and about 75 percent of small business owners donate on average 6 percent of their profits to charitable organizations annually. That’s a big impact from small businesses! And charitable organizations aren’t the only ones benefiting from companies giving back.

Doing good is good for business too

In a study done by Grateful on LinkedIn, results showed:

  • 85 percent of people want to work for or do business with a company that gives to charitable causes

  • 91 percent of consumers are more likely to do business with a company that supports a cause they care about

Giving back for the social good is the right thing to do. Still, those are also numbers businesses can’t ignore, especially as companies look to attract and retain employees and customers.

Charitable giving provides an opportunity to highlight the company’s values, create a sense of community internally and externally, and invest back in the community in which its business serves. In thinking about aligning charitable contributions, we suggest companies consider partnerships that matter to their core business, employees, customers, and community. As small businesses develop a giving plan, we recommend starting in three ways.

Three small ways to give back that make a big impact: Time, talent, and treasure

Time: Nonprofit organizations run lean to keep costs down, so volunteers play a critical role in providing services. Companies can volunteer time by scheduling a quarterly or annual team volunteering event. It is an excellent opportunity for team building and providing a group of ready hands in service! For companies that cannot take time off as a group or have employees dispersed around the country, consider giving a quarterly paid half-day off to volunteer locally and submit back documentation to capture the annual impact company-wide.

Talent: Does your company offer a specific service or product that could be useful to charitable organizations? We love seeing companies give talent that leverages a particular skill or tool the business can donate to meet a need for the nonprofit. For example, we know a public relations firm that donated its service to a local nonprofit to help write and distribute press releases for its events and train staff to give more effective news coverage interviews. A win for both of them!

Treasure: Nonprofits are dependent on others to donate money to provide needed community programs. To help, our Grateful App connects caring businesses and individuals to causes in need. You can give a Grateful Card – a charitable giving card – to express your gratitude or celebrate a special occasion. Your recipient then selects the nonprofit(s) that matter most to them to direct the donation. It’s so easy! Companies partner with Grateful to build a culture of giving back, recognizing their employees, and giving thanks to their clients and vendors. Grateful includes more than 1.5 million 501(c)(3) charities ranging from children’s organizations to disaster relief, animal welfare, and many more.

Small ways make a big impact when we become a collective force for social good

Consider this giving season – and all year long – how your small business can create significant change through your company giving. Also remember to share the good work your company is doing through your social media, website, and marketing. It makes a big difference to your small business, the nonprofits you support, and the community!