Small businesses are widely recognized for being integrally involved in their communities. If you ask many small business owners they’ll tell you that their customers are much more than business contacts, they are friends; and that their offices and storefronts are not just where they work but where they live. So it’s no surprise that when neighbors are in need, their small business community is there to help.
Giving back to the community is a year-long commitment for many small businesses, but as the holiday season approaches and the year draws to a close, we are all more focused on taking stock, giving thanks for what we have, and giving to others who may not be as lucky.
And, research shows that such generosity is just good business. A recent Small Business Administration post cites a study finding that 85% of consumers have a more positive image of a product or company when it supports a cause they care about, and 90% want companies to tell them about their charitable work.
How you get involved will depend on your community needs and your business resources. You might have extra office supplies or inventory that you can donate, or you might organize a volunteer opportunity for your team, offer your company expertise to groups needing the service you provide, or simply make a monetary contribution to one or more charitable organizations.
If you need help locating worthy charities, search Charity Navigator. You can filter organizations by location and by cause, and use the reviews to determine which organizations will make the best use of your donations.
Remember that your gifts are likely tax deductible, so be sure to take advantage of that. For guidance on what and how much you can deduct, see the IRS Guide to Charitable Contributions. Or, try the TurboTax support post, What Kinds of Charitable Donations can I Deduct, for a more user-friendly presentation of FAQs about small business charitable deductions.
Before giving to a charity you know little about, be certain to do your due diligence. Check it out using the Better Business Bureau Charities and Donors search to make sure it is reputable. You should also look it up on the IRS Exempt Organizations Select Check tool. If it is not on the IRS list, then your contributions will not be tax deductible.
This Small Business Tip from PaySimple offers one more way to promote and fuel your business.