Why It Is Important for Your Business to Give Back
August 21, 2018
The “give back” movement has been experiencing a groundswell of support over the last several years and does not see any signs of experiencing a drop-off in the near future, especially with the tumultuous political and social climate we are all experiencing. This philosophy is lived daily at Book Depot in all that we do, whether it is partnering with nonprofits to help them procure books for fundraisers or donating books for literacy drives. We feel this is a core value that permeates our organization from ownership all the way through the entire team. You may certainly be thinking to yourself, “why should I be giving back?” or “I do not have the financial resources to give.” It is a completely understandable reaction. However, we have come up with a list of possible ways to give back in your community that could perhaps jump-start your own initiative.
For minimal cost, you can place a box in your store earmarked for your customers to donate their slightly used books. Then either on a regularly scheduled date, or simply as the box fills, you can deliver them to a local school, shelter, or other charity (a coin donation box at the checkout also does the trick).
Your gift of time
Your time is certainly of value. If you and your team can set aside a day—or even an afternoon—to provide meals, do a charity walk, or adopt a section of highway, you will be making a difference. It is also an awesome team bonding experience!
Set aside a designated day to provide a portion of your proceeds to a local charity. One suggestion would be on “Giving Tuesday.” This year it will occur on November 27 and has become as ingrained in the public conscientiousness as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It does not have to be a large portion; even 5% would go a long way in making a difference.
Offer your space
Provide a space in your store for a nonprofit to utilize as meeting space. It could be at a traditionally slow time or during off-hours, so it does not negatively impact your operation. Who knows, someone in attendance could buy a book…
As people, we give mostly for selfish reasons—because it feels good. It nurtures our souls and gives us a sense of pride that we made a difference in the lives of the less fortunate. As a business, benefits stretch far beyond that and include (but are not limited to):
- Ignites your customer base. 85 percent of customers prefer businesses and brands that support a charity they care about, translating to higher traffic and sales revenue in your store.1
- Charitable donations are tax deductible if you are supporting an IRS/CRA approved nonprofit organization.
- Increased visibility by free marketing and publicity. Oftentimes charities are exceptional with getting the message out. Whether it is with the local media or on their social media pages, they will promote your organization for the assistance you provided. (Side note: do not forget to reciprocate the favor by promoting them on your own social media channels.)
- Employee relations. People love working for organizations that are not just out for themselves or to only turn a profit. Those businesses that care about their town and their neighbors will have a happier team and be more attractive to prospective employees in the future.
- Strengthens your market reach. A more literate community means a larger customer base. An example of this would be how providing books for schools ignite a child’s love of reading, turning them into readers who are looking to expand their own book collection.
- Create customer loyalty. 90 percent of customers say they would be more loyal to a brand that gives to a local cause that resonates with them.2
Lastly, you may be thinking, “where would I even start”? There are thousands of deserving charities and nonprofits that could easily resonate and are well-deserving. We suggest three starting points. First, start locally. No better place to make a difference than in your own backyard. Second, start small and build upon your success step-by-step. You will look back in a few years and be amazed at what you were able to do in a relatively short amount of time. Lastly, we suggest you “take a backseat” on this one. It is certainly easier said than done when we are used to leading every aspect of our businesses, but on this topic, let your team decide democratically who will be the benefactor of your resources. Your group experience will have a much higher chance of success if everyone buys into the philosophy of giving back.
Good luck and please let us know how your group made a difference. We would love to celebrate your successes on our social channels!
Business Development Director
1 Heitzman, Adam. 2016. Why Giving Back Should Be Part of Your Marketing Strategy. May 10. Accessed August 8, 2018. https://www.inc.com/adam-heitzman/why-giving-back-should-be-part-of-your-marketing-strategy.html.
2 Tabaka, Marla. 2015. Why It’s Crucial for Your Company to Give Back. January 26. Accessed August 8, 2018. https://www.inc.com/marla-tabaka/7-reasons-to-become-a-philanthropist-now.html.
Photo courtesy of Bernie’s Book Bank.