How Your Small Business Can Give Back in 2018

In 2017, Reference's Bizboost team, led by business librarian Amanda Armstrong, conducted nearly 300 one-on-one appointments, finding statistics and trends to help Denver's entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Many expressed an interest in how to give back and connect with the community, but were unsure how to incorporate it into their business model.   

Even if your organization's time and resources are limited, there are lots of simple and satisfying options for you to support a cause you believe in, with the added benefit of marketing your goods or services:

  • Donation jars don't require much time or commitment. Simply choose a charity and place a donation jar on the counter or other high-traffic area. If you'd like something more formal, you could follow the lead of the Buffalo Exchange consignment stores, which support local charities through their Tokens for Bags program. They give customers the option of receiving a bag or donating five cents, the cost of the bag, to one of three charities. Since 1994, they have raised over $704,200 for local nonprofit organizations and kept 14 million bags from entering the environment.
  • Volunteer your knowledge. Donate what you're good at. Employees can make a huge impact by sharing their IT, research, or marketing skills, for example. This option takes some planning, but luckily the Points of Light Institute offers a concise how-to-guide, Skills-Based Volunteering: Getting Started.
  • You can volunteer as a groupHabitat for Humanity, an organization that builds safe and affordable houses for those in need of shelter, provides a great volunteer experience for your team. Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado offers more than 50 volunteer opportunities throughout the state each year from April through October, or they can create a customized project for groups of 20 or more. 
  • Offer incentives for volunteering, such as paid time off for volunteering. Or you can also show employees that you value volunteerism by rewarding them in small ways, such as with a special lunch or gift card.       
  • Increase your company's brand recognition by sponsoring a community event. If your budget allows you can donate funds and, if not, your group can donate time or expertise. For example, if you have a web design company, you could help with the events social media.  
  • Donate part of your revenue or sales to a worthy cause. The charity, amount, and frequency are up to you, but if you make a claim on your website to donate 5% of each sale, for example, you want to be sure to honor the commitment.  

Next:  Making it formal:  Public Benefit Corporations  

Questions? Ask Reference Services or call 720-865-1363 today!




Written by Lisa on January 3, 2018


FrankW on January 6, 2018


Great post, Lisa! Those are some great ideas especially for anyone with a business still thinking about resolutions for 2018!