Small Businesses Gain Big Wins from Community Involvement

May 31, 2019

Strapped and under-resourced small businesses might have the very most to gain from community involvement.  Authentic outreach can be a powerful way to expand the company’s relationship network, raise business awareness and build loyalty among customers and employees.  

goBeyondProfit’s Corporate Generosity Research Report cites that 71 percent of Georgia’s employed adults prefer to buy products from companies who are generous to the community.  And 52 percent will even pay more for products from them.  66% of working Georgians under 34 consider a company’s generosity when deciding whether to work for or stay with them.  

And it doesn’t have to take lots of time or cash.  As we meet with entrepreneurs around the state, we’re hearing about simple, smart and authentic ways time- and money-crunched executives are finding big wins.    

This National Small Business Month, the goBeyondProfit team asked a few small business owners and experts for insights into SMB community giving.  Read on for their wisdom.

Everyone wins

“SMB’s are often in a position where they can’t give a great deal of money, but they can give time and experience, which is ultimately more beneficial to the SMB than the monetary recognition. From employee camaraderie to networking opportunities to leveraging social media exposure, the benefits of getting involved in the community are vast. One simple way to get started is to hold an annual Day of Service, where the entire company picks an organization or two and volunteers together.  If you leverage pre- and post-exposure, both organizations stand to benefit quite a bit and everyone wins.”  — Nigel Zelcer is the co-founder and managing partner at Jabian Consulting, a locally-focused management consulting firm dedicated to doing well by doing good. 

Good karma pays off

“When we launched our DoGooder quarterly volunteer program 10 years ago, it felt like the right thing to do, even though we were a small creative agency and not a large corporation with hundreds of volunteers. Starting somewhere, even somewhere small, adds up and makes a huge impact. We’ve now spent over 4,000 hours helping 30 organizations and building bonds with our employees and community—just this past week we were at the Foster Care Support Foundation. The good karma has paid off in ways we never imagined.” — Moira Vetter, is the founder and CEO of Inc. 5000-recognized Modo Modo Agency and serves on the boards of several local and national non-profits. 

Creating value in a virtuous cycle

An important aspect of the Conscious Capitalism philosophy is to encourage business to do what they do best – create value. Communities find value not only through financial donations but also by how companies benefit all of their local stakeholders including employees, suppliers and the environment. When business leaders apply their value creation skills across everyone that they touch in their community, value inherently accrues back to the business in a virtuous cycle.” — Chris Hooper is the Chapter Chair of Conscious Capitalism Atlanta.

A mandate, not a “nice to have” 

“Does giving back and giving dollars hurt your top line? Yes, it does. Does it contribute to a positive culture and help build an environment where I want to come to work and so do my employees? Absolutely! I have a largely millennial workforce and they have high expectations of corporate social responsibility. In fact, millennials consider it a mandate, not a “nice to have.”  Consider this, more than 6 out of 10 millennials won’t even consider taking a job if the company doesn’t have clear, strong CSR values in place.  If recruiting the best talent is important to you, (and it’s wildly important to me), making a commitment to social responsibility is essential.”   — Danica Kombol is the CEO of the Everywhere Agency, one of the leading influencer marketing agencies in the country. 

Especially if your business slows a bit after Memorial Day, it might be the perfect time to think more about launching or evolving your community program.  

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