Part of growing a business is becoming an active contributor to your community.
Your business has to plant roots in a community; you and your business, no matter the stage of growth, have to find time to “give back”.
The fact that you have the right to start a business in your community is a gift. That means you have an obligation to support that community. Giving back does not mean waiting until you receive something first.
No, you may not be able to join the most visible and prestigious civic organization. A good way to start is to get to know your community; this can be achieved in some of the following ways:
- Become familiar with the areas of town that are not the most “high end”. What do you see? Are there run down homes and homeless people in the streets?
- Visit a few of your local food banks such as St Vincent De Paul. Stop in and ask what they find is the most pressing need in the community.
- Stop in at your local place of worship and ask the pastor or rabbi what they find is the most pressing need in their area.
- Go to your local Veterans Administration and ask what our returning veterans need.
- Visit your local welfare department and ask what the greatest needs are.
These are but a few suggestions. If you google local charities in your town you will be surprised how many exist and what a wide variety of needs they serve. Even in charitable work, there has to be research before you commit time or money. I believe that a charity that wants help should provide a volunteer information as to how much of donated funds actually reach the needy.
Giving back does not mean spending a lot of time and or money. It means that you are participating to the amount of time/money that you can afford to give.
Perhaps in your research you found an area that is underserved; this may be the chance you need to start your own group. It can be as simple as writing an article in your e-newsletter, stating the need you found and how others can participate.
This type of participation isn’t about getting the right contacts to grow your business. It’s about giving from your heart and the heart of your business. It fulfills the values you defined when you developed your business plan.
Good things will always follow when you give without expecting anything in return.
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