As the holidays near, small business owners are approached with many opportunities from local charities, like sponsoring food drives and donating goods or services for fundraising events. They’re also inundated with the stress of seasonal business fluctuations and year-end administration, making it hard to consider giving up time and money for what might seems to be a self-serving dose of warm and fuzzies. The truth is, the benefits of giving back don’t – or at least shouldn’t – stop at you, the business owner, it should affect your entire business.
The following is a guest blog provided by our friends at Apparo. Dedicated to connecting community involvement to business value, Apparo is our community expert for creating volunteer programs that positively impact your business.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the term used to describe how companies give back to or improve the community. In Charlotte, small businesses are stepping up to the plate to show their CSR in many ways, including in the form of donations to charities, employee volunteering, ethical labor practices, and more.
Through this process of do-good work, local small businesses not only help their community – but they also reap a few benefits.
Consider these three main benefits as you think about how your small business can be an active player in the Charlotte community, beyond its traditional business model.
The way an organization treats the community suggests good things to its employees about how it perceives and respects them. Employees that feel respected by their employer feel more comfortable bringing their most authentic self to work which, studies show, leads to increased engagement. Additionally, according to a survey produced by Apparo in 2017, organizations that encourage their employees to volunteer through pro bono work during paid business hours create motivated employees who feel that their company respects their personal development. These employees also feel energized by the opportunity to be creative with their skillset for a good cause.
Consumers think consciously about the products and services they buy. In a Nielson survey, 66 percent of participants said they pay more for products and services from socially responsible companies. When examining the population of participants willing to pay more, 56 percent said “a brand being known for its social value” was a top purchase driver.
Positive Public Attention
Effective CSR can position your small business as a leader in the community, and a positive role model for others to follow. Besides, when companies stand out for the good work they’re doing in the community, the media gains interest. With an abundance of not-so-pleasant stories circulating in the papers, it’s nice having a positive news story to share. Not to mention, there are plenty of awards up for grabs for companies who promote good in the community.
Clearly, charity work is much more than just a dose of warm and fuzzies. The benefits of engaged employees, loyal customers, and positive public attention, far outweigh the cost of commitment. Connecting with a local cause is a powerful way to create a strong internal culture, reach out into the community, and build a better brand.
For more information on how Apparo links technology businesses with local charities, visit apparo.org.