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Social Responsibility for Small Businesses: How to Give Back Without Breaking the Bank
by Zoe Devitto
May 6, 2022
a team packaging food donations

Social responsibility is fundamental for the development of a healthy society.

You often see big corporations taking part in charities and supporting a diversity of social causes. Small businesses can also participate in these kinds of altruistic activities.

You don’t have to donate $300,000 today to make a difference. There are a few ways to help your community without burning your finances.

Why Giving Back is Good

The benefits of social responsibility are not limited to the people; it also helps your business in many ways.

It doesn’t mean you have to engage with philanthropy just for the returns. But, if you’re of two minds whether your business should serve a social cause, then you should hear the benefits it can provide to your brand:

  • 85% of consumers have a more positive image of a company that supports society. Supporting a cause would increase brand recognition and overall business success.
  • Helping your local community and improving the quality of life in your area. Making it a better place to live.
  • Responsible brands attract more loyal customers and better talent. Half of the millennials would agree to take a pay cut for a job that supports their societal interests. 
  • Participating in charities allows you to meet successful people in your industry or community, expanding your network with new friends who might help you with your business.
  • Sharing how your brand works to support a cause is a great way to boost your social media engagement and attract more followers.

Despite the benefits, your small business might find it hard to get started. So here are five strategies to give back without breaking the bank!

5 Strategies to Give Back Smartly

Strategy #1. Volunteer with your team

An excellent way to improve team building is to encourage your teammates to volunteer for a cause. To get started, encourage your employees to participate in events, make small donations, and share the cause with their network and friends. Later on, you can work together to get involved in non-profit projects and even host an event to collect funds for the charity. These kinds of activities won’t only help people but will also build a strong company culture and increase productivity.

Strategy #2. Donate your time

If you can’t donate money, donate your time instead! Non-profits require as much people-power as money. So schedule some time every week to use your team’s skillsets to volunteer for a non-profit. It doesn’t have to be big, but it has to be meaningful. Something as simple as volunteering as a specialist for your local SCORE chapter or working at a soup kitchen are good starting points. You can also make use of your business skillsets to assist charitable organizations to thrive.

Strategy #3. Support other small businesses in your community

Social responsibility isn’t only about helping people. You can help small businesses too! You can show support to other SMBs by buying their products regularly (especially if they’re local), leaving reviews on their website, getting them in touch with people in your network you can help them. The benefits of small businesses helping each other can compound over time as they keep expanding their reach and increasing their audience’s size.

Strategy #4. Partner with non-profits

Non-profits benefit heavily from partnerships. Moreover, it’s good PR to openly support a specific cause that’s highly relevant to your industry and your community’s life. When partnering with a non-profit, promoting their message isn’t the only thing you can do. You can also collaborate to host campaigns and organize events. Most of the time, it’s a win-win situation.

Strategy #5. Allow your customers to participate

Take one percentage of your profit gains to donate to a charity, allow customers to make small donations while purchasing, or build a program where you contribute a certain amount for every new referral. Whatever it is, involve your customers with the cause. It’s easy to promote such programs and involve your customers too.

Making your customers feel like they’re participating in a good cause will make them feel better about themselves and remember your brand positively, improving your customer retention.

Final Thoughts

Social responsibility is not exclusive to big corporations. SMBs can also add meaningful value. This post has covered some great ways to get started, but they’re not the only ones! There’re tons of ways to contribute to your community; you just need to listen. Pay attention, and you’ll grasp the details that no other big company would ever do — that’s where the advantage is. Imagine if all SMBs worked actively to make the world a better place. How much impact could they collectively drive?

Be part of the change. 

About the author
Zoe Devitto
Zoe is a content marketing strategist for SaaS brands like FollowUpBoss, Mention, and more.
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1165 Herndon Parkway, Suite 100
Herndon, VA 20170

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Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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