A Small Business Guide to Charity | Blake McCoy | Chicago, IL
When there’s talk about a business donating to charity, it is frequently done with larger companies in mind. However, it is just as common (if not more so) for smaller businesses to make contributions to nonprofits and charities they are aligned with.
Charitable giving creates a healthy and positive relationship between a business and the community. As such, it is always beneficial for a company to donate whenever possible to give back to the community. Remember that small businesses frequently live and die based on their community connections, so strengthening them is always the smart move.
Many small businesses may have considered establishing a charitable plan but ultimately shied away. It is an intimidating prospect, especially at the beginning. Here are some of the best practices for small businesses and charities.
When a small business decides to donate to a charity, it must choose one they align with. In other words — a company should always choose a charity that supports the same goals and concerns as the company itself. For example, it makes perfect sense for a mom & pop grocery store to support the local food bank.
Researching a charity before donating is always a critical step, but this is especially true for small businesses. The reason behind this is twofold. First, a small business cannot afford to waste money on a fraudulent charity. They want their money to go where it’ll have the most impact. In other words, they need it to go towards a legitimate charity.
Second, a small business cannot afford to support (intentionally or not) an organization that runs counter to its personal goals. So a pet store shouldn’t donate to an organization that fights against animal rights.
One way for a small business to interact with a nonprofit or charitable organization is through its employees. Small businesses should consider ways to encourage employees to engage with a chosen charity. This could mean many different things, such as a program that pays employees for volunteer hours or simply encouraging them to donate via a company donation drive.
Finally, it is always good to stay local when looking for nonprofit organizations to support . This ties back around to the concern that many small businesses have — the community. Supporting an organization within the community is both more accessible and more impactful.