Small businesses thrive because they deeply and profoundly connect with their communities. Here’s how business coach Nina Tulio recommends you give back to the people who helped get you here.

Being an active part of your community and giving back is something I believe in making a part of your business. 

No matter how big or how small, giving back in any way can change someone’s life. Whether it be a food drive, a 5k with your team, a coat drive, or even having an open house, there are so many ways you can contribute to your community. Here are some thoughts to consider as you explore local volunteer options for small businesses.

How to Find the Right Type of Volunteer Work for Your Small Business 

1. Find Something That Resonates with You and Your Team 

It’s so important to give from your heart to a non-profit that you connect with. It has to come from a genuine place. I recommend sitting down with your team and Googling a list of local non-profits. Do your research them and see which ones jump out at you. When I was a salon owner, we would hold a few events a year in honor of a non-profit. My team and I decided that dogs and children were our jam. Those were the non-profits we sought out. 

2. Start By Asking What They Need 

Once you’ve decided which non-profits you’re interested in working with, reach out to find out what their needs are. Most non-profits have a wishlist of items they need to be donated. This gives you some ideas for planning your event, and it’s also a great idea to start building a relationship with someone at the non-profit you’d like to partner with. Later, you can invite them to your event or open house if that’s the route you decide to go. 

4 Ways You Can Give Back as a Small Business

Host an Open House in Your Space 

This is a great way to bring people together for a great cause. You can do something simple like a wine and cheese event or throw a silent auction. (Tip: Invite other local businesses to donate some auction items as well. This helps them get their name in front of others as well as giving back). 

As a part of their entry to get into the open house, ask attendees to bring an item or two off of the nonprofit’s wishlist. Include a link to the list in your invite so attendees know what to bring. Be sure to send out your invites at least six to eight weeks in advance, so you give your attendees enough time to save the date. We did this many times, and it was such a big hit. 

Throw a Food Drive with Your Local Food Bank

This is such a cool thing to do and a great way to get your clients involved as well. Including clients in any of your charity events is a win-win. Clients love helping and giving, and they also love to do business with people who give back to the community. I recommend promoting your upcoming food drive at least four weeks before you plan on hosting it. You can share this information in an email marketing campaign through Schedulicity and also on all your social platforms. 

Host a “Pamper Me” Event at Your Local Women’s Shelter 

This type of event can feel truly life-changing for these amazing women. Some of these women haven’t had a haircut in years. Many have never had their makeup done. Many shelters offer job placement support—consider partnering with them on job interview makeovers. If you are a barber, you can partner up with a non-profit like this as well by offering a few men a haircut and a shave to send them off feeling confident on the interview. 

This would be a very private low-key event that would be for a few hours after hours before or after your business is closed. You can have some beverages and some appetizers, put on some music, and even send them home with donated hair or makeup products. To see the looks on their faces after their makeovers is truly priceless. 

Sign Up as a Team for a Run or Walk 5K

This is a great way to bring everyone together for a bonding moment while giving back to your community. You can also include your clients in the process. In some cases, they can donate money for your 5k, or they can sponsor you and your business by making a donation. And of course, don’t forget to make some t-shirts for participants that represent your business. 

I truly believe that giving back is a great way to utilize your platform as a business owner. It is a great way to contribute to your community together and help those in need.