You can do all the promoting you want, but your business will struggle to get ahead when the local economy is struggling. On the other hand, a prosperous local economy means more citizens and businesses have the necessary means to purchase from other local businesses, keeping money in circulation instead of saving as much as possible. Your community’s well-being is important. Here are a few ways you can help give back and promote more prosperity for your local community.
Promote local businesses
This is a win-win for everyone involved. Simply purchasing supplies and services from local, non-competitive businesses will help you reach more people and establish lasting relationships. Bonus: companies can promote each other and help to penetrate additional markets.
Hold a food drive
Food drives never fail because food will always be a necessity. Host a food drive amongst your employee or let the public contribute as well. Social media makes spreading the word easier than ever. Promote the event online, encourage your supporters to spread the word. You could even partner with other local businesses to include their marketing and supporters as well.
Sponsor a youth sports team
Have you ever noticed the logos on your children’s sports uniforms? For example, Lincoln Youth Football teams are named after their sponsored company and coached by a company’s staff member(s). This is a great way to spread your message while contributing to the development of future generations. This strategy works great if your business can provide a service to the youth organization or its events.
Partner with a local non-profit
Provide your services and staff, while the non-profit provides their services, staff and expertise. Whether it’s a singular event or a campaign, combining each others’ expertise will always provide better results.
Hosting a fundraising event, campaign or even setting up a donation avenue for your companies services are just a few examples. Bring in a keynote speaker to help raise awareness and dive deeper into the issues the non-profit is trying to address, or set up a donation campaign through your business where all the profits made are donated to the local non-profit.
Pass on your knowledge pro bono
The way our economy is set up, we reward talent. Non-profits spend the majority of their donations on their purpose, not employee salaries, and most $100,000+/year level people are not going to take a huge pay cut.
Take this opportunity to provide free seminars and key-notes to non-profits, college students or make them open to the public (if you’re okay with potentially providing free advice to competitors). Provide attendees with a schedule on your company website for better attendance numbers. Bonus: potential customers might attend as well. This can turn into leads if they like what they hear.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with this one. Some companies set aside a few days each year to collectively volunteer in the community. Other companies provide, or even require, paid time off for staff members to volunteer at non-profits of their choice.
Referring to the previous section, partner with a local non-profit and provide your own skillset. For example, local non-profits are usually pinched on marketing staff and spend, which usually results in a small number of marketing staff members carrying a huge weight. This provides a great opportunity for a marketing firm to step in and provide their services pro bono.
Pro-tip: Sticking with the marketing example, make sure you let the non-profit’s marketing staff take the reins on this. Non-profits deal with delicate issues that involve complex factors with deeply rooted history, and politics almost always play a role, especially in today’s political climate. Let the non-profits use their expertise to steer you through these complicated waters.
Provide employees with incentives to give back personally. For example, if employees donate a set amount, give them the option to wear casual attire for that quarter or even year. Or maybe even provide additional vacation days based on donations. You can even set tiers, where each tier grants you additional bonus days. If you choose the tier approach, consider basing it on a percentage of pay as that may negatively affect lower-level employees. Make it a priority as a company to match an employees donation as well.