6 Reasons Small Businesses Should Donate to Nonprofits

Every dollar you make is precious, but sometimes giving away money can be worth every cent.
A great way to boost employee morale is to show that your business cares about what’s important to them. (Photo: wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock)

As a business owner, you have many financial responsibilities to think about — from compensating employees and paying bills to putting food on your own table. But for many small businesses, giving back is just as integral to who they are as turning a profit.

Shelley Callahan in India

Shelley Callahan, director of development for Children Incorporated, on a humanitarian trip to India. (Photo: Shelley Callahan)

When requests come in for charitable donations to local groups and nonprofit organizations, how do you typically respond? While parting with your hard-earned money can be tough, helping those less fortunate and contributing to your local community can also be good for business.

To learn more, NCR Silver spoke with Shelley Callahan, director of development at Children Incorporated and author of “The House of Life.” She shared the following six reasons donating to nonprofit organizations can be a worthwhile investment for your small business.

Counts toward a tax deduction

Giving money to charity can help lower your taxable income, if the donation is made to a qualified exempt group, also known as a 501(c)(3) organization.

“Donations don’t have to be cash either,” said Callahan. “In-kind donations of unwanted or unused items to charity, such as office supplies or vehicles, count towards a deduction when you claim the value of these goods as a deduction.”

In addition to cash and property, you can also deduct mileage and travel expenses incurred when working with a charitable organization. And always check with your small business accountant to make sure you’re keeping the proper records along the way.

Related: 7 Ways Your Small Business Can Help With Disaster Relief

Provides marketing opportunities

According to Callahan, working with nonprofits can also create powerful publicity for a small business by showing your organization is invested in the community.

“When you can associate yourself with a great charitable cause, not only are you getting a chance to market your philanthropic endeavors as a business, but the charities you are partnering with are also reaching a whole new group of people who might not know about you yet — which can lead to new clients or consumers,” she said.

Both sides cross-promoting the partnership with local media and in newsletters, displays and advertisements creates a win-win situation for both the nonprofit and your business.

Boosts employee morale

A great way to boost employee morale is to show that your business cares about what’s important to them. Participating in a giving campaign or volunteering time and resources can increase on-the-job engagement and improve relationships with your staff.

Giving employees an opportunity to participate in something other than their day-to-day job “can help them feel more involved with the company than they might otherwise,” said Callahan.

Expands your business network


Participating in charitable causes can expand your personal network and build relationships with new members of your local community. (Photo: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock)

Partnering with a charitable organization can also expand your personal network, which can open doors for you and your business in other ways.

“After you have begun supporting a charitable cause, your business now has something new and exciting to associate yourself with, and this can lead to new networking opportunities,” Callahan explained. “You might find that you now are able to connect with someone over shared interests and passions in regards to social issues, whereas before you didn’t think you had anything in common. Being able to have interesting conversations about creating social change will leave a lasting impression, which is helping in maintaining new relationships.”

Related: Effective Networking Secrets Revealed

Attracts top talent

In today’s job market, potential hires (especially millennials) are interested in working for businesses that are making a positive impact. Having an established corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative can boost your charm with recruits who want to give back, said Callahan.

“When trying to attract top talent to your business or corporation, being able to talk about how you are contributing to the community and giving back as a company will make you more appealing to potential employees than those companies that do not have a CSR strategy in place.”

It just feels good

While there are plenty of strategic reasons for your small business to partner with nonprofit organizations, the intrinsic rewards may be reason enough for you. Helping those who are less fortunate contributes to our own personal happiness and gives our life greater purpose.

“Growing up, my parents made sure I had everything I needed — a safe home, a good education, new clothes and plenty of food on the table. I didn’t realize until I was in college, living on my own and working to provide for myself, just how fortunate I had been as a child,” said Callahan. “As people, we have an obligation to support one another, to lift each other up and to share resources so that we can all have the basic needs we deserve to live good, productive and healthy lives.”

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