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Many large businesses have incorporated the practice of philanthropy and giving. They are often spotlighted in the news as large contributors to various causes. As a start-up, your priorities are focused more on short-term goals like staying alive for the first several years. After you become profitable, contrary to popular belief, it is possible to support your fellow man without having to go bankrupt. There are a number of ways to give back to a community. 

Choosing a small, local charity means that they will feel the impact of your donation more strongly than a large, national one. Poll your employees for ideas about which organizations they feel passionate about. The added bonus of including them in the decision-making process means they will feel a sense of pride and loyalty to the cause they helped be a part of. By partnering with a cause that ties in with your company’s vision or shares the same values, you can also help spread your own brand name. Potential consumers and investors in today’s world are much more involved in how their employer, supplier, or partner is helping to make the world a better place. The internet has made it possible to do investigative research on every company, and it’s in your best interest to be proactive and send a good message.

Another way to help is through in-kind donations. Many small businesses adopt families around the holiday season, and employees donate canned goods, toys, and clothing. If there are any landscaping projects, some companies might show up over a weekend and help out with the labor. Being on the board of a nonprofit is another way to volunteer your time, as is helping to manage a fundraiser. If you have the room, you can also donate your event space for the function.

As a leader, a great message you can send to your staff is how much you value giving back by being flexible with working hours and volunteering. This way, you are showing them how much your care, not just saying it. In addition to offering the freedom to help during working hours, people love feedback, so make sure to follow-up with encouraging updates that show how much your company has made a difference. This is also a great morale boost for for staff.