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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?

Business volunteering

Ever thought about why a business should give to their local community?

There are many ways to give, and it can be a regular thing or just when it suits, but volunteering in some way can help your business:

  1. your business gets increased exposure just through your presence or by acknowledgments in their brochures, website, noticeboard or similar. And it may well cost less than similar exposure through an ad or other marketing campaign
  2. your business earns respect, trust and goodwill from the people involved in that community – and people are likely to try your business first if they appreciate your efforts in something they are passionate about
  3. you get to learn more about your local community, and potential customers, so you can adjust your products, services and marketing to suit
  4. if you allow employees to volunteer in your time, you will also build morale and team spirit – this helps your business in many ways, including attracting and maintaining quality staff
  5. allowing employees to volunteer will teach them more skills that can further help them perform for your business. In particular, staff helping a charity will need to be resourceful when working with tight budgets and limited resources – and being resourceful and using initiative can be great for any business
  6. you can mention your community work, too. If you do pro bona work within your community, it will also give you valuable case studies and testimonials to showcase your abilities – this can be really useful for a new business or a business offering a new service.

Has your business ever been involved in comment projects, either through employee time or other donations? Or maybe your community has been helped by a business in the past?

What advantages have you seen come from businesses contributing to the local community?