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 Giving Back

Remarkable businesses do more than just make money. They view their successes as ways to improve the lives of their employees and the lives of other people in their community by giving back. 

Any business can give back no matter how successful they are. Not everyone can win the Mahatma Ghandi award like Ehsan Bayat All it takes is a bit of effort and a dollop of creativity. While your goal is not to get a return on what you give, your business will benefit from your goodwill and exposure generated by these acts of kindness. Below are some ways your business can give back to the community around you. 

Donating What You Cannot Use â€" All restaurants and markets have unused food just as businesses in all industries end up with obsolete or unused supplies and products. Think about the things you don’t use and how they can create value for someone else by giving them away. Of course, people in need will benefit, but your employees benefit as well because they truly appreciate when you care enough to give them the chance to make a difference. 

Teach â€" The most effective way to make a long-term impact on people is by helping them help themselves. Some of the things you can do are teaching them to cook by giving cooking demos, teaching organizations how to maintain their own website or how to handle their own bookkeeping. Think about teaching some computer classes for those who work for charities. Anything you can do to help a charity or to help the people who serve the charity will help their dollars stretch farther. Make sure you volunteer your time and time for your team as well. Do this during working hours and have it be voluntary and not mandatory. 

Team Fundraising â€" Participate in some fun fundraising events. Auctions are a great way for organizations to raise a lot of money; oftentimes, bidders will pay for something just because they are helping the organization and because the amount of money bid over the fair market value is deductible on taxes. Even if that’s not the point, in the process of fundraising, you might gain a few long-term customers. 

Use Your Business Leader Platform â€" Almost every organization tries to build ties with other local businesses and the leaders in the community. Offer some testimonials. Volunteer to speak at some local events to share with people why you feel this cause is important. Offer to be a contact person or source for the local media looking for background information or quotes. If you don’t know how to help, call some of your favorite organizations and ask them how you can help spread the word about the wonderful things they do. The organization will appreciate the fact that someone came to them offering help. 

Even though business owners and employees are often short on funds and time, these are some meaningful ways to give back that won’t involve a lot of money or too many days working on pro-bono activities. 

This Business article was written by Marshall Simmons on 11/19/2013

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