As a local business, it is important to provide quality service to your customers, as well as creating a healthy and stable environment for your employees. But what about the efforts you put forth to be involved within your local community? These efforts can look different for every business, but it shouldn’t be overlooked simply for the major benefits it has for your dealership or business. Not only does it create name and brand recognition, making charitable donations can also offer significant tax breaks and benefits and also sends a clear message to others about the kind of company you are as a whole.
Partner With Local Organizations
Making philanthropic efforts on behalf of your company can be a daunting task in the beginning if you don’t know where to start. There are a multitude of local non-profits and organizations in every town doing great work on behalf of the community, and it can often be difficult to narrow down one or a few specifically to get involved with. Perhaps start out by having a company-wide meeting and talking with your employees about causes they are personally passionate about, and how you all can help align those causes with your own shop. Spend some time researching and looking in to local organizations and what they do, as well as where the money they earn and money people donate goes to directly.
After you’ve spent time researching local organizations, get in touch and see how you can partner with them in ways that make sense for your shop and can mutually benefit both businesses. Recently, we worked with our local Habitat For Humanity branch. As a business that provides scratch and dent repair, I contacted our local HFH and asked if they had any moving trucks and vehicles that needed repairs. After discussing our shared objectives together, we were able to recognize that some of the families they were building homes for had some vehicles that needed minor repairs that our company was able to provide for them. Even though we weren’t directly doing the work they regularly do, we were able to collaborate in a way that made sense for everyone, and it turned out to be the beginning of what I hope is a long-lasting partnership between all of us. Use your shop’s services and strengths to contribute to your local community in a way that feels organic and mutually beneficial.
Host or Attend Local Events
Piggybacking on local events that are already taking place is an easy way to get involved in the community. After you’ve researched local organizations in your town, see if they are hosting events in the upcoming future that you can attend or help sponsor. Charity drives and events often offer local businesses the opportunity to get involved with a small financial investment and donation, and you are able to show up and network with other local businesses in your area as well. Find the local causes that are a good fit for your shop and see the kinds of opportunities that are available. This may mean finding a weekend day for your entire staff to go volunteer as a team for a few hours, which also creates a team-building exercise for your staff.
If you aren’t able to find a local event that fits within your timeline or capacity to attend, there is always the option of hosting one yourself. Rent a local event space or even open up your shop after hours to host it there. Pick a local charity or non-profit to donate the money to and invite your customers and local people in the community to come. This also gives you a chance to open your doors to people who may have never considered your shop for its services, but who now know where you are located and what you do- as well as meeting you face to face in a non-business setting.
No matter what your shop decides to do to get involved, make sure it is something your employees feel passionate about and excited to do – whether it is optional or not. Getting involved in your community can help to boost morale and show your community who you are as a business and where your priorities are as a whole.
This article was originally published by Auto Success.