Each year, millions of businesses, from small to independent, make the smart choice of getting involved in their community and trying to make a difference. If you aren’t involved in your community, why not? Some business owners claim they don’t have the time or money to help out. Most business owners will agree that running a business is more than a full-time job, which leaves little time for anything else, and requires a watchful eye on finances and avoiding “frivolous” spending (and it’s hard to say “yes” to everyone who asks for a charitable donation). Regardless of your excuse, your decision to opt out of community involvement can actually end up hurting your business.

The Benefits of Community Involvement

As a business, whether you support your community with financial donations or with a more hands on approach, your involvement is beneficial to the community that surrounds you and ultimately supports you. From a financial standpoint, some businesses don’t feel like they can afford to be charitable, however, most (if not all) financial donations can be a deduction at tax time. Even if you get involved in other ways, you are not only making your business more visible, but you are more likely to be supported by your community (potential customers and clients) and your employees may be more committed and happy, as well.

Ideas for Getting Involved

The opportunities for getting involved in your community are endless. You can sponsor an event or even volunteer at an event in the community such as a festival, parade, or sporting event. If you can’t get out and about in your community, you can start a donation box at your business or host a charitable event in your workplace. Depending on what your business has to offer to the community, offering free advice or knowledge through a workshop or mentoring program can also be a great way to give back to the community. Instead of a financial contribution, you may be able to donate products or services. Whatever you chose to do, will set you apart from other businesses in your community and may boost your confidence and purpose as a business.

How Lack of Involvement May Hurt

One of the wonderful things about being a business owner is the independence and ability to make your own decisions about your business. While getting involved in your community is strictly optional, it’s unwise to pass on getting involved. Failure to getting involved can affect your business’ reputation and your potential customers and clients may be more interested in supporting a business that gives back to the community, which can ultimately affect your profit in the short and long term. Additionally, if you’re a business that doesn’t give back to the community or has no interest in getting involved, your employees may be embarrassed to work for a “seemingly selfish” company and may even affect the morale within your company. Volunteerism and community involvement is a popular action that is sticking around, it would be a shame to pass up all the ways it can benefit your business.