5 Benefits of Giving to Local Charities

by / Sunday, 01 December 2013 / Published in Business

As you craft the perfect marketing plan for your business, you may want to consider the many benefits of giving to local charities. You don’t have to be raking in millions to begin giving to charity. You can donate your time to local charities for a variety of unique benefits, not the least of which is helping your community grow and thrive and taking pride in your place within your community.

1. Local charity work increases the public perception of your company.

Studies have shown that an involvement in local charities makes the local community look upon your business, products and services in a more favorable light. In this fashion, charitable giving and charitable work are excellent ways to advertise your company and gain new customers. When working at events events and volunteering for public projects, your name can be emblazoned upon the materials being handed out to your community and you can meet members of your community directly. This is an invaluable form of marketing that will last in your prospective customer’s mind far longer than a radio ad or television spot.

2. You can give time, rather than money, to a local charity.

Local charities will accept your time rather than money, which makes these charities an ideal way to connect with the community without having to invest. Charitable labor is a direct investment in the community in which you live and you do business. By giving your time to a local charity, you enrich your own community and, in turn, it will be able to enrich you. Small businesses in particular have extremely close ties to their community. A small business can succeed or fail based on their community’s support. Getting out there, meeting your community and doing good works is a fantastic way to not only connect with your community but also to grow as a person.

3. Local charity events offer limitless networking potential.

When you give to a faceless international charity, the charitable act ends there. When you get involved in local charities, however, you get the opportunity to directly engage your potential customers, vendors and even investors. Every charitable event is another networking opportunity that you can benefit from, even indirectly. One of the primary rules in business is that you never know when a contact is going to come in handy. You may even be able to network while volunteering at events, and those that you do network with are likely to already have a bond with you over the charity that you are both supporting. The more enmeshed you become in volunteer work and the charitable organizations in your community, the more networking opportunities you will discover.

4. Your impact is more significant with local charities.

Local charities often don’t have the sheer amount of volunteer staff and workers that larger companies do. Many charities spend as much as 23 percent of all the money they get on their administrative costs, with compensated employees as well as volunteers. With a local charity, you can make a real difference without having to donate a dollar. A small local charity that helps the homeless is very likely operating completely on volunteers and becoming one of these valuable volunteers is an excellent way to increase the charity’s overall impact. You may even be able to completely revamp the charity to make it more efficient. If you’re in IT, you might be able to increase the efficiency of their computer system. If you’re in marketing, you could brainstorm new ideas and fundraisers. The opportunities are limitless when you work with a charity that you can truly help.

5. Local charities are more personal and more memorable to the community.

Small community projects require less funding and labor than international charity events, offering you the unique chance to be instrumental in a project’s success. Rather than being one of thousands of companies who donated to a faceless international charity, you can be the individual who made all of the uniforms for a soccer team in your district using your company’s screen printing equipment. Your community will remember you and your company based on your charitable acts and you will have had a measurable impact on their lives. You can get creative with your contributions based on the type of company you have and the equipment you have accessible to you.

Of course, charitable contributions aren’t meant for profit alone. Many business owners find the simple act of giving back to the community that has given so much to them extremely rewarding. In giving charitable contributions, you will find that you gain a connection to your community that goes beyond pure financial rewards.