As a business owner, you must be aware of the importance of making a contribution to the community. And while your priority to accomplish business growth does not often involve helping the community, understand that involvement can attract new customers and retain the existing ones. However, many businesses tend to overlook the value of becoming involved in the community.
Business and Community Service
Community service is beneficial for businesses not only because of the good deed. The benefits go beyond the bottom line. Nowadays, many companies embrace corporate social responsibility (CSR) because this interest comes from customers, job seekers, employees, and the community.
Let’s talk about how community service affects different people related to your business.
You may find it surprising that many job seekers consider the company’s CSR when looking for and accepting job offers. If you and another company offer the same benefits, the applicant may base their decision on your involvement in the community.
Generation Y takes CSR seriously when applying for jobs, and most of them can leave a company if its CSR program isn’t impressive anymore. This shows that volunteerism plays a crucial role in employee recruitment and retention now more than ever.
Employees don’t just seek professional growth. If you take the time to talk to your employees, you will realize that most are eager to participate in volunteerism. For most of them, volunteering can provide a sense of fulfillment that even money can’t replace.
In the digital era, it’s not surprising to know that customer perception heavily relies on business brands. Word of mouth in social media affects how customers choose the businesses they transact with. Customers don’t just consider a company’s product or services. They now want to know if you are an active community member. Overall, the more active you are, the more they will support your business.
Supporting Your Local Community
Here’s the good news: There are many ways to become involved in your community. Listed below are some ideas to help you get started.
Encourage Your Employees to Participate
First of all, you need to encourage your employees to play a role in volunteering. Give them the chance to volunteer once in a while and allow them to choose particular volunteer initiatives according to their preferences, knowledge, and skills.
For example, if your company is a financial institution, ask your finance manager to hold a conference for community members where they can discuss positive financial habits. Your company must emphasize the importance of providing people with financial education as it can affect their chances of getting approved for mortgages or opening bank accounts.
Sponsor an Event
Local communities usually organize events to bring people together. You can take this opportunity to participate and make a contribution. Offer to sponsor events like marathons, festivals, fundraisers, and many more. If possible, encourage your employees to attend the event as well.
Sponsor a Sports Team
Most communities have sports teams. Sponsoring a sports team is an excellent opportunity to help the community and get publicity because your business logo will appear on the player’s uniforms. This is also a perfect way to support the community without dedicating so much of your time.
Organize a Charity Drive
A charity drive is ideal if you want to give back without spending a lot of time and money. Ask your employees to donate canned goods, clothing, books, and other items that people can still use. You can either send your donations to a local charity or start your event to give gifts to orphans or homeless people.
Participate in Online Community Platforms
Most communities have their own online news publication or website where members and organizations can communicate. Make sure that your business has joined your community’s online platform so you can engage in relevant conversations and stay updated about local news and events.
Connect With Other Small Businesses
Connecting with your local chamber of commerce is good for your business as it gives you the opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs. Also, it gives you the chance to be one of the leading experts in the industry.
The Bottom Line
You don’t need to spend a lot of time and money to nurture community involvement. What you need here is the eagerness to help other people. With commitment and creativity, you can develop a community involvement program to benefit your customers, employees, and, most importantly, your business.
Make it a habit to help people and develop various programs that they will enjoy. Don’t just focus on young individuals. Volunteer in homeless shelters or visit residential care homes for the elderly. Overall, the objective is to help as many people as possible through your business.