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I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy! Tash

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How a business can volunteer

Corporate volunteering obviously helps the community as well as being positive for the supporting business.

Don’t think that the only way to support local community is to give money donations, though. Even businesses on their own tight budget can help local groups, and all businesses can find a means of giving that suits their specific structure and products/services.

Here are a few suggestions – what else can you add to this list?

  1.  do some pro bono work – a web designer could create or update their website, a plumber can put new washers in all their taps, food places could offer goods at cost (i.e. do the cooking for free) and an IT company could do a security check of their computers. I know I have written and edited various documents for community groups at minimal or no charge
  2. offer good or services at discounted rates for events or specified periods – e.g. a bakery could offer bread at cost for their fundraising events and a mechanic could offer an annual car service
  3. offer discounts to volunteers or members of the group – for example, a hairdresser may offer 20% off for people referred form a women’s shelter or soup kitchen volunteers get a free physiotherapy check up
  4. make employees available to volunteer at a community group. This could be everyone is off volunteering together once a year or a roster of people helping once a month or fortnight. Think about what works for your business and for the group you’re helping (not all places have space for an extra 10 people at one time for example).
  5. whenever you are upgrading (computer, phone, printer, etc) consider if it has enough value to pass onto a community group
  6. offer to print their newsletter to save their costs – collating, folding and so no are also possible tasks you can offer
  7. promote the group – put a banner on your website, link to their site, mention them in your newsletters, add their logo/details on the back of your business cards, add a donation box to your shop (or button on your website) and so on.
  8. add a collection box in your office/shop
  9. have a stall at their fete or other events – your fee and attendance will help more than it may appear
  10. invite them to speak or have an information booth at your big events

What other ways have you seen businesses support their local community?

Books for fire affected Victoria

I just found out about a book appeal at Borders. In short donate a good quality book to them (or buy a new book as a donation) and it will go to a school or library in a fire affected area. What’s more, Borders will match your donation with a cash donation of the retail value of your book (as if new) – the money will also go towards restocking the schools & libraries.

Getting books back to those communities seems important to me –  a chance to ‘get away’ from the fires for a little while and give a sense of normalcy to them, plus helping those children learn.

I also like this idea for those of us who are given already and can’t give much more even if we want to. Donating books you don’t need doesn’t cost you anything but could make a huge difference to those who lost everything in the fires earlier this month.

I hope Borders have a lot of boxes to collect these books…

** The red cross is still taking donations if you prefer to donate cash.