Creative ways for businesses to give back

Content provided by a guest contributor.

As a business owner, you know that there is an element of social responsibility attached to your position. This means that you should be looking for ways to make charitable donations to those who need it the most. But it can be difficult to be socially responsible, especially if you are a small business or have a tight budget. You can still donate to charity, but you will need a little bit of creativity to do so.

If you would like to donate to a non-profit as a business, this can be easily done. You should start by looking for a cause that is close to your heart and the hearts of your employees, or you could consider a nonprofit organisation in your local community that needs help. Many charitable organisations have “wish lists” on their websites, making it easy for you to find out what they are looking for. However, being creative can make donating fun for your employees, so read on below for some fun and unique ideas.

Pledge your birthday or anniversary

If your company is turning ten this year, or one of your CEOs has a major birthday coming up, you could use this to pledge your birthday to a charity. What this means is that you will make one or more charitable contributions to a charity or cause of your choice as a “gift” for this birthday or company anniversary.

This could be an online donation to a charity using money given by each employee or you could opt to raise money at an event and use this for the chosen charity. Pledging this special day is also a fantastic marketing opportunity for your business, as you can post a link to social media where others can pledge their birthdays or you could create a week-long social media “event”, posting a countdown to your birthday and to the day you donate, creating awareness of your brand as well as the charity.

Make it a team effort

A business or company is only as strong as its team, which means that your charitable donations should also consist of strong teamwork. You can make a donation a team effort by taking a team trip together to a charity to volunteer your time for their cause or by going to an event for an organisation as a company to offer support and aid.

By including the whole team, you will find that employees morale is increased and they are more enthusiastic about donating to the cause, rather than simply tagging along because it is a “work event”. You could also set up a fundraiser evening with a theme everyone has picked, with the best-dressed of the evening having the donation put forward in their name. This will encourage everyone to go the extra mile and will serve as a good incentive for your employees to participate.

Offer your skills

Now, this might not sound like “donating” to charity, but offering up your skills and abilities instead of donating goods or money can be highly useful too. Have you noticed that your local animal shelter’s website needs a bit of an upgrade? Or perhaps you see that a children’s home could use some help with their roofing? If you have essential skills and expertise, you can offer these services to charities pro bono to help alleviate some of their stress.

Not only is this a huge benefit to your chosen cause, but it is an opportunity for you to attract more business. For example, you could use the website design for the animal shelter to showcase your web development team’s knowledge, or you could showcase the new roof of the children’s home to potential customers. Be sure that you offer skills that can help the charity and build them up to new heights and that are relevant to their needs.

Host an event

An effective way to give back to charity, even on a small budget, is to host an event to raise funds. You could organise a concert with local bands and use the ticket money as a donation to the charity, or you could host a picnic event where guests can purchase a curated gourmet food basket and use this money as part of your donation.

Consumers prefer brands that are consistent, which means that you should always ensure that the event is in line with your brand and message. This might sound as though the event is purely for marketing purposes, but it is important to maintain your image even when giving back.

The event should focus on the charity rather than your company, but this does not mean you should abandon your image altogether. Ask your employees to uphold the company reputation but still have fun and enjoy their time at the event.


The content in this article was provided by Rogerwilco – a South African marketing agency based in Cape Town.

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