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Your small business should always strive to be involved in the local community. After all, its members are the ones that keep you in business!

Giving back to your community is a natural decision. It allows you to show your appreciation for what people have done for you while simultaneously raising knowledge about your business and increasing interest in it.

These ideas will give you a starting place that will make it easier for you to give back to the community no matter what your budget.

1. Sponsor a charity. 

This is the easiest way to give back to your community, and the one that many businesses turn to when they first start considering charitable options.

Pick a charity that means something to your company. Think about your company values and your buyer personas. What matters to your company? What matters to your buyers? Then, find a charity that speaks to those values. You can donate a specific amount, set out a percentage of your sales, or offer your customers the opportunity to partner with you in donation so that they can give to the charity, too.

2. Give to help a local kids’ sports team.

This is especially beneficial to the community if you happen to live in a low-income area where many of the teams are made up of underprivileged kids.

Consider, for example, the difference you can make by gifting new uniforms to a team that’s still using ratty old jerseys that are ten years old or more. You’ll increase the kids’ confidence and let them know that someone in the community cares about them.

You don’t have to splash your business’s logo across those jerseys to make people take note, either; when you give to kids, people naturally notice what you’re doing.

3. Pick an organization and donate your time.

Could you take one day a quarter and fill food boxes at a local food pantry? What about helping fix up a local school or playground? When you donate your time, you’re not just signing a check and walking away. You’re giving a tangible representation of your business’s donation that will be there for a long time to come.

4. Work in a local school.

Consider what your company does. Are you in a STEM field? Could your employees reach out to the community schools and teach the things you know best or encourage students to join your profession as they get older?

You could also partner with local programs that will allow your employees to develop deep relationships with students within local schools, giving them time off each week to spend with their sponsored child.

5. Create grants and programs.

Send local kids to college or help fund a local event. Consider what speaks most to your business, then take the steps to make it happen!

6. Offer discounts to local charities and other programs.

Find a way to invite in the members of your community who are already doing their best to make a difference. A restaurant, for example, might become known for always having free coffee for first responders, while a tax preparation company might offer a discount to policemen and firemen or provide free advice to local charities.

Deciding how you’re going to give back to your local community can be a challenge, but it’s one that’s incredibly rewarding! Take the time to draw up a comprehensive plan for charitable giving throughout your company.