Businesswomen chatting at community event

As a small business, your community is one of the cornerstones of your success. Getting involved in your community by building relationships, attending community events and supporting community-based organizations and efforts can help your small business in many ways. From increasing your business’s exposure and brand awareness in the community to raising employee morale, being an involved member of the community is a good investment for any small business. Here are a few ways your small business can make an impact in your community.

Business volunteer opportunities

Volunteering isn’t just a great way to leave a positive impact on the community where you live and work — it can be good exposure for your business as well. By volunteering your business’s resources or your employees’ time, you can more easily forge connections with other local organizations. It can also help you improve your business’s reputation in the community and even positively impact your sales, as consumers like to purchase from businesses who are civically minded. Community-based volunteering options could include:

  • Donating time or resources to local nonprofits such as food banks or shelters
  • Environmental impact opportunities such as clean-up of rivers or parks
  • Assisting at a local animal shelter

As an added bonus, your employees will also enjoy volunteering. Giving your employees time or options to volunteer can increase retention and job satisfaction. Consider setting up quarterly or annual volunteering dates as a team, or setting aside a certain number of days in the year for your employees to volunteer for the causes that matter most to them.1

Start a fundraiser

To further support deserving causes in your community, you might consider hosting a fundraiser. Attaching your business’s name to a cause or organization your whole community can get behind can increase your business’s brand awareness and leave potential customers with a positive impression of your business.

These days, fundraisers don’t have to be held in person. If you have the space to do so, hosting an in-person fundraising event can be a good way to introduce the community to your brand. But fundraisers can also be held online through social media or even your website. Regardless of what you choose, marketing your fundraiser will be key to its success. Be sure to plan well in advance and get the word out early and often to ensure a good turnout on behalf of your cause of choice.2

Business sponsorships

A business sponsorship is a monetary commitment to a local organization or event. Typically, your support would be in exchange for additional exposure, such as your logo on t-shirts or signs, or an acknowledgment of your business during speeches. Sponsoring charity events, theater productions or local sports teams (recreational or higher level) can help you connect with many members of the community at once.

Sponsoring your employees’ efforts is an easy way to promote your business. For instance, if your employees participate in walks or races for a good cause, you might fund their participation and ask them to wear your logo as they complete it.3

Partner with other local businesses

As you’re growing your business’s relationships, don’t forget to leverage your own small business network. Other local businesses seek the same things as you, and often you can help each other be successful. Here are a few ways you can partner with other small businesses to amplify each other’s brand messages and products:

  • Co-sponsor or co-host an event
  • Share each other’s events and news via social media
  • Carry each other’s products when possible
  • Conduct a “buy local” campaign together

Supporting other members of your small business community will help you continue to form strategic relationships in your community, and you will likely find that your support pays off when you need it.4

Offer discounted products or services

Offering discounted products or services to local organizations can help strengthen your relationship with them and get a favorable word out about your business. Organizations with tight budgets that serve the community such as schools, libraries and nonprofits can always benefit from your help — and your business will benefit from the positive impression it generates. Whether you donate directly to them or set up discounts for their workers, it’s another win-win for your community.

Being involved in your community as a small business is good for both you and the other members of the community. It can help increase traffic to your small business, strengthen your reputation and improve employee retention. Give the tips in this article a try to see how it can impact your business. For more small business resources, visit Nationwide business solutions center.

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[1]“Why your company should have a volunteer program” Anna Ballard, (Accessed June 2023
[2] “Planning a successful fundraising event in 10 steps: the updated guide” (Accessed June 2023)
[3] “National Small Business Week: Getting Involved in Your Community” Sammi Caramela, (Accessed June 2023)
[4] “How to get your business involved in the community” Nextdoor Editorial Team (Accessed June 2023)

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