Businesses that encourage community involvement distinguish themselves from their competitors, and see many benefits, including loyal customers and happier employees.
Consumers often consider corporate social responsibility (CSR) when deciding which products or services to buy and where to shop.
Here are four things to consider when incorporating community service into your business plan:
1. Build relationships within your community.
Look at your community to see what’s important. Are the schools struggling? Does the animal shelter need donations?
2. Get your employees on board.
Giving employees an avenue to give back is important to morale and builds a collaborative and inspired team. Volunteering also provides leadership opportunities for employees, which leads to increased staff performance and fulfilment and, ultimately, increased productivity.
3. Create a custom volunteer plan.
Business owners can evaluate their business and employee strengths and select volunteer activities that draw upon those strengths. For example, if you own an accounting firm, you could volunteer to help a non-profit organisation set up their accounting practices or do their taxes.
4. Let customers know how you’re giving back.
Once you’ve implemented your volunteer strategy, let current and prospective customers know what you’re doing by including this information on your website.
All companies should make philanthropy a central part of their business model. As Gandhi often quoted: “Be the change you wish to see in the world!”.