For most of the year, small business owners focus on generating more revenue, but the holiday season is the perfect time to switch gears and spend more energy on giving back. After all, the spirit behind Christmas is giving without expecting anything in return.

Helping others does more than impart holiday cheer — it can increase employee engagement, foster customer loyalty, and create key community connections.

Here are some ideas on how to prioritize acts of kindness in your local area for the holidays.

Participating in holiday charity events is the perfect way to not only grow your business and improve employee happiness, but also make lasting relationships with people in your community.

According to research from Deloitte, employees who feel their work has purpose are 60% more likely to be engaged and productive. A LinkedIn survey also found that 74% of millennials and Gen Z workers consider a company’s social responsibility when making career decisions.

By actively giving back, you’re showing potential talent that your business is more than just profits; it’s making a positive impact on the world. You’re also investing in your own success by creating a more motivated and dedicated workforce. Here are some ways to get started planning your own charitable initiative.

Choosing a Charity

There are so many philanthropic opportunities to choose from, so how do you determine which organization to work with? Start out by finding a list of local charities near your business. From there, determine if any of them really tug at your heartstrings or align with your company’s core values.

For example, if you own a construction business, you might want to partner with Habitat for Humanity which builds homes for families in need. Or, if you run a cleaning business, donate 100 free cleanings to single moms in the community.

You can either find a particular charity to team-up with or simply donate your goods or services to people in need.

Since 2016, we have organized a toy drive every year where our employees purchase and donate toys to underprivileged children. These toys are collected at our annual holiday party and then distributed to The Children’s Home — a foster home for children — by Christmas.

Before finalizing your choice, make sure you bounce the idea off a few essential team members to get their input. Once everyone is in agreement on the selected nonprofit or charity event, you can get moving on the planning stage.

Publicizing Your Charity Event

After you have all the details in place, like the time, date, and activity, the next important step is to share the charity event with your customers/clients, business partners, social media followers, and the press.

Write a press release and distribute it to the media to gain publicity for the event and attain backlinks to your website online. Create social media posts to let your followers know about it as well as any other communication channels you manage, like an email newsletter or printed advertisement in a local magazine.

Beyond simply generating more press for your brand, you’re also making a positive impact on prospects who may have never heard of you before. Once they realize that you make philanthropy a priority, they will respect you more as a force for good in the community and also trust you far more than businesses who aren’t participating in charity work.

A 2021 study by Cone Communications revealed that 78% of American consumers would choose to buy from a brand that supports a cause they care about over a competitor that does not. Showcasing your commitment to giving back isn’t just good for the community, it’s good for your bottom line.

You may also want to consider partnering with other businesses and inviting the community to join you at the event. Actively engaging with local businesses and organizations strengthens your ties to the community and potentially opens doors to new customers and collaborators.

Making a Positive Impact

The most important part of organizing a holiday charity drive is showing up! Send out reminders days before the event to confirm the number of people attending and then have everything ready for them once they show up.

Some items you could provide them would be a t-shirt with your business’s logo on it, a water bottle, sticker, or free lunch. Ensure that all staff members wear the company shirt for photos during the event as a way for people to remember what group you are a part of. Your company will also look more professional and organized by wearing the same company gear.

Afterwards, distribute the group photos on all your communications channels. You might also want to include some quotes from team members about their experiences helping others and gather any interesting stories about interacting with the community.

Once the event is over, ask your team for feedback on how the event went, the response from the community and overall reception from customers and partners. You might want to work with the same charity year after year, or pick a different one to change it up.

In any case, creating an annual holiday event to give back to the community is rewarding in more ways than one. You’ll bring positive energy into your workplace and make a difference in your local area. People may not always remember everything about what you sell, but they will know your name and what you stand for – helping others.

And as always, we’re here to help with your marketing however we can. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 800-442-0112. Our marketing consultants are trained to advise you on how to get your business back on the rails during this difficult time.

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