We’re are all working longer and harder than ever have before. Small and medium-sized business owners and employees put in a full day’s work at the office (or home office) along with attending morning, afternoon and evening events, staying involved with social media, belonging to special groups (including networking groups), serving on boards, participating in trade associations and…the list goes on. A full day’s work sometimes feels like a full week’s work.
Yet, you and your staff still desire to be in involved your community, which is commendable and doable. Here are 7 ways to be involved in your community (excerpted from 10 Ways to Give Back to Your Community and edited for content).
1. Promote Local Businesses
One of the best ways to support your community is to help out other businesses in your area. Buy local as often possible and create a page or area on your website to link to your favorite local companies. Cross networking with non-competing companies in your market helps you reach more people and help out other local business owners just like you.
2. Participate in Food Drives
Many businesses encourage employees to bring in unopened non-perishable canned and boxed foods that can be donated to local food banks and ongoing food drives. This is a fantastic way to help you community, and it requires very little additional time. A very worthy local food bank is the Manna Food Center.
3. Sponsor a Youth Sports Team
Chances are, someone on your staff has a child on a youth sports team. By sponsoring a local team, you’ll be able to help with the funds they need and get publicity in exchange for your support. This is a simple way to help out with a very minimal time investment.
4. Set Up a Collection Jar
Support your community with no time commitment. Simply choose a charity that is important to your company and collect money inside your business. Staff members’ children may also participate by sending in donations with their parents.
5. Hold a Contest
Support your community while also encouraging your employees to have fun by holding an internal contest. Select a local charity, and instead of prizes, used sponsor money to support the charity. Popular TV shows, like the Apprentice and others, have done this with great success.
6. Sponsor an Event
Sponsoring a participant in a local marathon can be a great way to show support, especially when you can support your own employees who are participating in such events.
Many businesses are now encouraging employees to volunteer and businesses can show its support by giving employees a specific amount of time each month, quarter, or year for volunteer work, which boosts morale while increasing a business’s community involvement. For a list of local groups to support, visit The Corporate Volunteer Council of Montgomery County (CVC-MC).