One of the most effective ways to support your community is by donating funds to non-profit organizations. If you already make contributions to national non-profits, look into locally based organizations where your support could make a more immediate impact, like local food pantries or mutual aid funds. If you are not sure where to give, a guide like Charity Navigator can help you find reputable organizations that are responding to the COVID-19 crisis and looking for support.
Matching employee donations
Your money can go even further when you offer to match donations your employees make to non-profit organizations. Employees may be more inclined to donate if they know their contribution will be supplemented. Some companies even create initiatives to encourage and reward their employees’ generosity.
Supporting other small businesses
Are most of your suppliers large national or international companies? If possible, consider doing business with more small or local suppliers to have more potential financial impact on the community in which your employees live and work. You could also donate business services to other small businesses who could use support. For instance, a law firm could offer free legal services or a wholesale supplier could offer a discount on essential supplies to help keep local businesses afloat.
As an employer, you can encourage your employees to give their time by offering paid time off for volunteering. If you already offer a program like this, make sure your employees know how to take this time and make it simple for them to participate by offering a list of local organizations that are looking for help, including any information about special skills local organizations are looking for.
Pivoting your business
Some manufacturing companies have been able to pivot their business to produce personal protective equipment or ventilators. If your company makes or transports physical goods, could you dedicate a portion of your resources to provide essential equipment to local hospitals, shelters, non-profits or other organizations that serve people most affected by the pandemic?
Small businesses are the backbone of their communities. Whatever your business can do to give back will be appreciated.