We are willing to bet that there are a lot of entrepreneurs who want to give back to the community, but don’t feel they have the discretionary cash to make a worthwhile donation. And while any size donation can make an impact to a charity, being in the growth phase of your small business means that your priority is keeping your company afloat. Good thing there are many ways to seamlessly blend charity into your business model without compromising the financial stability of your company. Here are five impactful ways to give back that don’t hurt your bottom line:
Your platform, no matter its size, holds tremendous power. You don’t have to wait until you’ve reached a certain income milestone to start giving back. Even if you’re at the initial stages of your entrepreneurial journey, simply talking about causes that matter to you is a form of giving. Your audience trusts your voice, and by using it to highlight issues close to your heart, you’re already making an impact. Giving visibility to causes you care about, whether through your blog, social media, or other platforms, is a significant step in raising awareness and fostering change.
Launch a digital product where 100% of the proceeds directly benefit a cause of your choice. You can integrate these give back initiatives into your business model, creating a continuous stream of donations throughout the year, OR you can launch a campaign to gather funds for a specific cause in crisis.
For example, in episode 225 of Cubicle to CEO, Paula Crossfield details two of her 100% giveback offers from 2023. One being an Astrology Guidebook that is available year round for $37, which raised $12.5K for Asha Deep Vidyashram – a school that serves underprivileged youth in India.
The other offer was a bundle of courses that she threw together as a fundraiser to support relief for the widespread wildfire damage in Maui. This course bundle sold for $25 and generated $8.1K for the cause. Paula even mentioned that “It didn’t cost us anything except for four days of marketing. And we had already had it in the vault, so we bundled it together and we sold it.” With this strategy, the only costs to you are your time to develop the product, and your marketing efforts. But as shown by Paula’s examples, they can result in impactful donations to organizations that really need the help.
In creating, or repurposing, a digital offer to give back to the community, you are using these low ticket products to generate goodwill, make an impactful donation, and grow your community with customers who are excited to contribute to a greater cause and will likely buy again from you again.
Another way to give back without creating stress for your financial stability is by offering up your skills or expertise. Consider donating your speaking services to a nonprofit’s event, designing a more user friendly website for a charity you love, or create a high quality video that an organization can share to their socials. While services like these are typically part of your paid offerings, contributing them for free showcases your support for creating positive change with your talents.
Support causes by donating your products or services to charity auctions. This not only aids in raising crucial funds for meaningful initiatives, but also extends your brand’s reach to audiences aligned with your philanthropic values. You could contribute existing products, or put together an offer that would be simple for your business to execute. For instance, as a media company, we have previously donated podcast advertising packages to be included in silent auction baskets targeted to small business owners. Doing this allowed us to be a vehicle for change with relatively low lift on the backend.
Motivate your audience to contribute by providing enticing incentives. Exclusive content, limited-edition products, or access to your expertise can inspire them to engage and donate to the cause you’re advocating for.
Take Amy Porterfield’s approach on Giving Tuesday as an example. She shared a cause close to her heart and pledged a two-hour strategy call, a service she doesn’t offer publicly, to the first person who donated $5K to that organization. This strategy incentivizes a substantial contribution with nothing but a 2 hour time investment on Amy’s part – further proving that you don’t need to draw from your own funds to make a significant impact.
Businesses that bake such ‘give back’ initiatives into their framework reap numerous benefits including community growth and improved brand reputation. The importance of creating an impact-oriented business model does not lie just in the feel-good factor it provides the business owner. More importantly, it creates a strong, positive connection with consumers, particularly those in the modern era who are increasingly driven by ethical considerations when choosing which brands to support. By displaying a genuine commitment to societal causes, small businesses like Paula’s are not just selling products or services; they are selling a shared vision of a better world. It’s a testament to the fact that businesses can be both profitable and purposeful, giving back to the community even as they grow.
Want to hear how Paula Crossfield used her business to donate $37K across multiple causes in 2023? Listen to episode 225 of Cubicle to CEO – available everywhere you listen to podcasts!
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