It is no secret that I believe in giving back to our local community. Raised on the motto of "Sharing Is Caring", I can honestly say that it just feels good to give. There is no greater feeling than helping someone in need or an organization with the greater good.
It also likely comes as no surprise that there are shortfalls within our province/country/world. Our tax dollars do not necessarily cover what many believe it should. And not to get into the politics of that but it is one of the reasons that many businesses and individuals give to so many worthy causes...we all want better for our communities.
As I mentioned, raised on the "Sharing Is Caring" motto, I learned firsthand how important it was to help others. But I also learned how important it was for the business side of things too.
Giving back creates an opportunity to get to know your community and when you have a business that provides goods or services, you want your community to support you in return.
When I started my business, getting to know my community and future clients was extremely important to the success of my business. I strategically chose to use my advertising budget for giving back, whether it be through providing silent auction raffle prices, cash donations, scholarships, corporate sponsorships, volunteering my time, etc. But I could not just randomly pick this or that. I could not just write a cheque and walk away. It had to have meaning. It had to have purpose. I needed a connection to the individual, organization, or cause. I needed to create relationships through my giving back involvement. If I did not feel my heart connection to what I was doing, it was not the right thing for me or my business to be involved with.
You might be wondering why I am sharing this with you. As I mentioned, there are many shortfalls within our communities and as a business owner, you have an opportunity to help fill the gap with much needed support (often a business expense too) while also promoting you and your business. So, I am sharing this with you in hopes that you too will find ways to give back through your business.
Here are just a few things that I think of when I decide to start a new scholarship or am approached for a donation or sponsorship.
Who am I helping?
I am personally drawn to supporting youth sports, families in need, education, and healthcare…but really, I am drawn to causes that speak to my heart.
What is the money being used for?
I am usually looking for gaps. Does the sports team need new equipment? Is the family struggling day-to-day to provide? Is our local hospital lacking the necessary equipment to service our community?
When will the donation be used? Are they planning to spend it right away?
When I give, I like it to be used at once so the benefit to the individual or organization is realized immediately.
Where will it be used?
My goal is to always support local, within the TriCities.
Why do they need the support?
Perhaps government funding has been reduced or is non-existent. Maybe the family has fallen on challenging times.
At the end of the day, it just feels good to give. But finding a purpose and what you resonate with is equally important. When doing a corporate donation/sponsorship, I try to find ways to mutually promote my company/brand awareness through social media mentions, print ads, signage, attending the event and such. It needs to be a Win-Win for everyone.
If you are already living the "Sharing Is Caring" lifestyle, keep on keeping on.
If you are not already giving back in some fashion (volunteer time counts), I hope this has provided you with ideas on how to get involved which will not only help the community but you and your business too. Check out who we support for ideas and see which of our clients are also living the “Sharing Is Caring” lifestyle.
**This blog is for information only and not to be used as tax advice or planning without first seeking professional advice. Information is subject to change without notice.