The main reason people volunteer for community activities is because they care about the community and want to be an active participant. There are many other reasons you should involve your company in community events that will not only benefit the organization you are assisting, but will also help grow your business. Below are just some of the reasons you should consider being more involved in local events.
Branding: A community event is a great opportunity for branding. Normally, sponsoring events will land your logo on t-shirts, flyers, websites, and social media pages. For events you are attending, you may have an opportunity to set up a booth and hand out some promotional information. Attending events in your area is an effective way of putting your company name and logo in front a large number of potential customers in your area.
Networking: Anytime you attend an event, you are going to meet new people and form connections. These connections are potential customers and may also refer their friends to you in the future.
Employee Morale: Working together for a charity or event can boost the morale of your employees and help with team building. Employees will also appreciate that you are giving back to the community they live and work in.
“Charitable Giving” Tax Deductions: Charitable contributions can qualify as tax deductions against your business’ annual tax liability. It’s important to note that not all contributions are considered legitimate deductions, so make sure to do your research if you are planning on submitting your charitable donation as a deduction.
What Can You DO?
Not all contributions to the community have to come with a large price tag. While you may get the most out of sponsoring a large event or even hosting your own, there are many smaller ways that you can contribute without spending a lot of money. Below are both large and small ideas that can help get your business more involved.
Host or Sponsor a Charitable Event: Throughout the year, charitable organizations host events to help raise money or promote a cause. Keep your eye out for these local events and contact charities in need of sponsors. Examples would include sponsoring a 5K Race, a local concert, or town festival. An easy way to stay in the loop is to follow community pages and local newspapers on social media sites to receive updates on what is going on in your area. Most townships also have a website with a community calendar that you can find information on. If you have the ability, you can create your own event that would benefit the community based on causes that are important to you.
Support Educational and Athletic Associations: Public schools have fundraising events throughout the year to raise money for educational programs. You can contact local schools in your area to see if there are opportunities for your company to help. The opportunities in schools will vary depending on their needs. You may be able to donate a free service for a Gift Auction fundraiser, provide goods for a bake sale, or volunteer to work at an event. Athletic organizations take advantage of sponsors as well. Some organizations will allow you to sponsor a team and have your logo and contact information on the back of the team uniform. Other organizations will hang your logo up the walls of their auditorium, or fences.
Have Employee Volunteer Day: One day a year, give employees the day off as long as they are participating as a volunteer in a community event. Have the entire company take the same day for a group activity such as working in a soup kitchen or volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. If it’s not practical for your business to shut down for an entire day, have an optional program where employees can choose the community service project they are interested in and take a day of to volunteer.
Some Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Involvement
- Send out press releases to let local newspapers and trade magazines know what you are doing for the community. They might pick up your story and feature it on their website or publication, giving your company more exposure!
- Use social media to promote the event you are participating in.
- Wear company branded shirts when attending events.
- Be prepared with promotional material and free giveaways with your logo to further branding efforts.
- Keep good records of charitable donations. You will need itemized lists for tax purposes.