You’ve probably heard that even one person can make a change in the world. Well, the same goes for your business. Your business is never too small to make a difference in the community.

Giving back isn’t just about donating your money; it’s about investing and advocating for a cause, donating your time and your talent. While you’re growing your business and might not have the needed cash flow to make the big donations you wish you could, there are many more authentic ways to give back and make a small difference in a big way.

Small donations of time, money and knowledge can drive a big return on your investment.

One of the most overlooked ways (in my opinion) to give back is through in-kind donations. Say you have your own graphic design business. With the limited resources most charities have, donating your design skills can have a huge impact. Maybe their logo needs a revamp, or their website is out of date. You can use your skills and resources to help them with a simple task at no cost to them.

Leverage the power of giving for your brand

In Cone Communications’ most recent Social Impact Study, results showed that a few notable factors came into play while analyzing a business’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) model:

  • 93 percent of Americans say they have a more positive image of a company when that company supports a cause.
  • 90 percent of Americans say they are more likely to trust and would be more loyal to companies that give back.
  • 33 percent of customers felt it is very important to look at a company’s social and environmental commitment before deciding what to buy or where to shop. And 32 percent felt it is very important when deciding which products and services they would recommend to people.

Now bring this full circle — you are passionate about a cause; you give back to a cause; and you boost your brand’s positive image by doing something you love. Without even knowing it, you could be encouraging your customers to give back as well. Nearly 80 percent of consumers say if they were given the opportunity, they would donate to a charity supported by a company they trust.


But the benefits of giving back don’t stop there. Employees of charitable businesses are happier and healthier. Check it out:

  • Whether you’re a staff of one or 100, giving back is good for morale. Ninety-six percent of Americans agree that volunteering makes people happier. Take some time to volunteer in the community.
  • Ninety-two percent of people who volunteer through their workplace report higher rates of physical and emotional health.

Social responsibility: how to get started

Once your business goals are set and you want to grow, establishing a solid CSR model will get you the extra awareness you may be looking for. What better way to increase your visibility in the community or to gain customer trust and loyalty then giving back to the people and causes who need our help?

Find a cause you’re passionate about — particularly one that relates to the mission and vision of your business.

Identify your skills and find a way to leverage them to the benefit of the cause.

Start locally. More than 40 percent of Americans believe companies should focus on the quality of life in their own backyard before focusing nationally or globally.

Finally, get something on your website or promotional materials about your CSR efforts. Show current and potential customers that you not only run a fantastic business but that you are also a good corporate citizen. You can do well by doing good.

tyler_50About Tyler Butler

Tyler Butler is the founder and principal of 11Eleven Consulting. Learn more about her here and connect with her firm, 11Eleven Consulting on Twitter, FacebookInstagram and LinkedIn.