Five Ways Small Businesses Can Give Back to the Community

The holiday season is in full swing, and all around the world people are thinking of ways to show people they care. For small businesses, it’s important to give back to their communities and to the individuals who helped them succeed. Even more important than giving back to the community, though, is giving to other small businesses and to budding entrepreneurs who could use help. Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you can’t give big.

While it’s easy to want to go straight to the checkbook when it comes to holiday giving, we have some other ideas that can be used by any small business or startup that wants to give back to their community.

  1. Mentor a fellow entrepreneur: Is there an employee in your organization or someone you met during a GROW class who could use a mentor as they begin their entrepreneurial journey? Donate your time and wisdom to act as a mentor to someone who is hoping to make the journey down the road you’re currently on. Being a mentor can be life-changing and can help give someone the confidence they need to take the next step towards making their business dreams a reality.
  2. Donate items from your organization: Consider getting involved in your community by donating relevant items to families or children in need. Toys for Tots accepts unwrapped toys, there are numerous West Michigan food banks that accept canned good donations, and many organizations accept and distribute clothing to those in need. If your organization wants to get creative, you can give away quirky products in a donation or raffle and give the funds to the charities of your choice. Keep in mind that a federal tax deduction is available for the assessed “fair market value” of the product or service you are donating, in accordance with IRS laws.
  3. Donate a percentage of your sales: If you prefer a more simplistic method of giving, you can still find innovative and creative ways to give this holiday season. In donating a percentage of your sales to a chosen charity that is important to you or your business, you can get your customers more involved in your business and share in your holiday spirit. Donating a percentage of your sales is an effective way of giving back to the community and those in need without having to worry about the potentially tricky logistics of delivering goods or coordinating events.
  4. Volunteer your time: You can also give back this season just by giving the gift of your time. Considering taking a couple days or even just a few hours to donate your time to a charity or nonprofit that interests you and your organization. Give your staff the option to join you in giving back to the community. During the holidays, charities and nonprofits often find themselves much busier than usual. They’ll certainly be grateful for your time and commitment.
  5. Adopt a family: Many organizations in West Michigan allow you to adopt a child or a family this holiday season. Many families don’t make enough money to support themselves, let alone provide their children with gifts for the holiday season. Adopting a local family helps you and your organization to demonstrate generosity of spirit and the value of community.

The most important thing to remember with holiday giving is that just because you’re small doesn’t mean you can’t do big things. You don’t need elaborate gestures to show how much you care; even the smallest actions can have a huge impact on the lives of others.

Happy Holidays from Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women!