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#1 Someone always needs help.
In any community there are always people, animals, and programs that need help, and there are always people who are in a position to help. A community and the world becomes a better place to live simply with the help of those willing to give. Being a small business does not mean that you do not have the time or the money to get involved in charities. Simply find a charity that fits your company’s goal and position. You do not have to spend a lot of money to give a lot of help.
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#2 Supporting a charity can result in excellent press.
For most small businesses, press comes from paying someone for advertisement. Charities, however, are always trying to get press, and local media often gives a fair amount of time to charity press releases in the form of articles and time slots on the radio. Set aside some of that ad budget and actively do something for a charity. Be sure to contact the papers, the radio and the local TV stations about your event. Sometimes pairing with a specific charity will result in the charity obtaining a press release. They will likely mention your business.
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#3 Needy charities are easy to find.
Let’s face it. In this world, someone always could use a helping hand. Finding a suitable charity for your business really does not take more than calling up your local Girl Scout council, Boy Scout Troop, pet shelter, or school. Even the tiniest bit of effort can really make a lot of difference to some of these organizations, and sometimes, your small business can be in an excellent position to do more than just give money.
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#4 Donations are tax deductible.
Donations of time and money are tax deductible for the business as a hold. Speak to your business accountant for specifics, but they can be very beneficial to your company’s taxes overall, especially if you have very few deductions.
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#5 Charitable giving can give a small business “big business" legitimacy.
Anywhere you go, you see big businesses advertising how much they give to charities per year and what they are doing for charities. Most of the popular ones currently involve going “green", and big businesses often pick big charities. Small businesses can emulate this on a smaller scale, and give themselves legitimacy as well as getting their names out there, just like the big businesses do. Simply hanging a sign that says something like “Our business is the proud sponsor of Girl Scout Troop 847" can be something that your customers will remember as they decide where to shop or where to spend their money. Remember to put your sponsorship on your webpage as well.
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#6 Charities can add to your network.
Most of the people running charities or volunteering in charities also work full time elsewhere. Some of these people can be very valuable to your network. As a small business owner, your network can never be big enough. You knowing someone who knows someone else can be the difference in hundreds of dollars for a work order. Sometimes, networking can easily be a step towards obtaining investors and capital for future growth.
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#7 Working in local charities can bring in additional business.
Don’t be surprised if you get more local business by being involved in local charities. Even without a storefront, people in the community talk, and word of mouth advertising is one of the most effective forms of press for a business. You can never underestimate the goodwill your company may be building via your efforts in the community and in the world.
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#8 Donating time to local charities can help employees bond.
Employees can bond while working together on an excellent cause, and with a small business, employee relations can have a dramatic effect on your place of business. This is a chance for you and your employees to bond with each other on an even footing and for a charity that could benefit from volunteers. Also, you may discover hidden talents in your employees while working along-side them in your charitable endeavors.
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#9 Find a charity that fits your business before they come to find you.
Being proactive and finding a charity in which to involve your business can be far more beneficial than waiting for a charity to approach you. First of all, you know your business better than anyone else. Thus, you know where you can fit in best and make your money, inventory, and expertise go further in the right place. If you own a sporting goods store, your money, time, and even inventory can go to the local little league teams, the local YMCA, or even a local school. That would be a better fit than a local ballet company seeking a donation.
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#10 Excellent employees can be identified during a charity event.
Employees often have hidden talents that cannot always be identified through their day to day work. Since charities usually work on small budgets and utilize all their people in a multitude of ways, they tend to do the same with their volunteers. This is where you may find your employee has a knack for drawing, organization or even public speaking. Your employees are one of your most valuable assets in a small business, so the more you know about their skills, the better for your company’s health and growth.