Giving back is good for the soul. And it’s not bad for business either. One study reports that 85 percent of customers favor businesses that support a cause they care about. That comes as no surprise to many small business owners. They already have strong ties to their community and provide support when they can. It creates a strong tie to current and potential customers. So if giving back is not part of your marketing strategy, here are five reasons to add it to your plan.
The key to giving back is authenticity. Support organizations that you can believe in. Consider partnering with an organization that complements your small business. For example, a hardware store might donate building supplies to Habitat for Humanity. Or a sports store might donate energy bars to a run or walk event.
Reasons to Give Back
Here are five benefits a small business can realize by giving back to organizations in their community:
- Increases visibility – People notice when you give back to the community. It spreads by word of mouth, mentions in social media or press coverage. All of these boost your search engine optimization making it easier for new people to find your business. That’s especially important to new businesses looking to build name recognition.
- Strengthens your market – Giving back supports the local economy. It’s an investment in the local infrastructure. For example, supporting local schools can help to create a more educated workforce. That creates stronger consumers who in turn support local businesses.
- Makes a bigger impact – Big-box stores tend to focus on larger, national charities. Small businesses tend to give to local organizations with smaller budgets. So even a small gift or in-kind donations can make a big difference.
- Supports strong connection with staff – Employees want to take pride in the place where they work. Giving back demonstrates that you’re willing to make an investment in the community where their families live. That can be a powerful motivator and could ultimately influence retention.
- Introduces you to influencers – Giving back should be about supporting an organization. But in working on a project, small business owners often come into contact with influential leaders in the community. Relationships are formed based on your shared commitment to giving back. Over time, that can provide a source of advice or even referrals to grow your business.
Small businesses that give back also receive rewards in return. By authentically helping their communities, they can increase visibility, develop more engaged employees and grow their businesses.