From large corporations, such as Facebook, to tiny corporations like the mom-and-pop diner down the street, businesses all over the world make it a point to give back to their communities and have done so for decades. If you aren’t already doing something positive in your community, check out these six reasons why now is a good time to start doing so.
1. It Builds a Good Reputation
Companies that give back to their communities are more favorable in the eyes of consumers. Some people specifically seek out businesses that have done good at local, state, or national levels and only do business with such companies. Whether your business is new or simply needs a boost in popularity, providing a service to local citizens almost guarantees more revenue. If you can team up with local politicians or other prominent community members, you’re even more likely to build a good reputation.
2. It Boosts Morale
Nobody wants to work for a company that has a negative image within the community. When your employees feel they are working for an involved business that truly values its local residents and its customers, they feel better about where they work. Furthermore, studies have proven that employees who feel good about the companies they work for are more productive, friendlier, and get along with other employees and supervisors better. Simply put, giving back to your community builds a stronger relationship with your employees. Serving others also improves your personal outlook on life. We’ve all heard the term “pay it forward” and when you put that into action you will feel a sense of gratitude that can boost your mood and combat feelings of depression and anxiety. When you focus on something outside yourself, you come to realize what a positive impact you can make.
3. It May Be Tax-Deductible
As a business owner, you know that taxes for small businesses can become quite expensive. Depending on the method you use to give back to your community, you may be eligible for a tax deduction. Eligibility will depend on the way you give to the community and the amount of money you spend to do it. If you’re unsure of your deduction eligibility, contact your accountant or use an online tax calculator. He or she can help you determine what will work best for you. Once you figure it out, remember to give your time or funds with the good of others in mind, instead of focusing on how big your tax deduction will be.
4. It Gives You Free Publicity
Serving with an altruistic outlook is ideal. However, there are often added benefits that can be advantageous for your organization. Free positive publicity is never a bad thing. Whether you’re building a park or providing an evening of entertainment and food for underprivileged families, doing something good for your community is likely to be picked up by local newspapers, bloggers and news networks. The good publicity will work as an advertisement without the hefty price you’d pay for running a commercial spot or purchasing paid advertising. They say any publicity is good publicity, but only good publicity is proven to truly make a difference.
5. It Makes You Feel Better About Yourself
Of course, not all charity needs to be done with an ulterior motive. Some people, like Ehsan Bayat, businessman and founder of the Bayat Foundation, give back to their communities via their companies simply because it makes them feel better about themselves and the world they live in. When you give back, chances are you’ll gain a sense of pride in yourself and your business that you hadn’t felt before.
Giving back to your community doesn’t need to be over-the-top expensive. You can scale your charity to match what you can afford. If your business is new or currently very small, you can do something as simple as sponsor a children’s sports team. Larger businesses can open soup kitchens, provide holiday help for low-income families, and much more.