Why are charity and social responsibility important for small business?
It’s obvious, that revenue-oriented sponsorship and charity are two different things. The principle is generally the same, but the goals differ. In our opinion, sponsorship means supporting someone or something in order to get some perks for your own business. Charity, on the other hand, is all about support just because you believe it’s the right thing to do.
Charity is sometimes believed to be better not to be bragged about. We only partly agree with this. There are, of course, personal activities, when our employees donate or volunteer in their private life. That’s great. But why shouldn’t we tell about what we do as a team?
If people representing business speak about social responsibility and create a trend for it, the world only gets better. Even more, companies start doing the same, more money gets spent on good cause. More people, projects, initiatives receive support. It snowballs quickly. Isn’t it cool?
That’s why we’re telling everyone what we managed to achieve at this stage. We hope this will help more people and businesses join the charity movement. We’re still young. But we’re sure we have a long road ahead of us. So come to join us!
Have you ever managed a whole business? If you have, you know it’s a huge responsibility for itself. You’re constantly focused on growing your margins, looking for clients, employees, and partners, and overall keeping the company going. Doing charity and being socially responsible on top of them? No, thank you.
But is it a “no” for sure? Not really. Many small businesses find positive effects in charity activities; these effects spread both within and outside the company. After all, you support what you and your customers believe in.
Moreover, doing something for charity expands marketing opportunities, helps the company connect with customers and creates important partnership opportunities.
Here are five important ways charity can help your small business:
- It builds brand awareness
By doing charity you expose your business to new audiences and create an immediate positive image of it. To use it right, you just need to give it some publicity. Don’t brag about being a good guy everywhere you go, that’s rude. But it’s probably a good idea to mention charity on your website and ask your partner charity to recognize your support on their website as well. You can also mention your charitable donations on ads and other marketing materials.
- The charity can market for you
If you donate a share of your products or services to charity, there’s a good opportunity these particular products and services will be more noticeable on the market. If you know your audience well, you can customize your charity activities to appeal to your customers, thus making them more inclined to purchase and participate in doing good with you. Considering the costs, it’s a very affordable and efficient way for a small business to get some viral exposure and expand its market presence.
- Target customers in your niche by choosing the right charity
More on the topic mentioned above. According to The Huffington Post’s Corporate Partner Survey of 2015, 92% of companies find brand compatibility with partners more important than anything else. So instead of thinking about how much you donate, try to focus on where and how to put your resources in.
- Discover new networking opportunities
Charity is often associated with a variety of events and meetings, which offer great able events and meetings offer numerous networking opportunities. Thus, doing charity can open up new connections for you, and potentially even increase your B2b income.
- It helps others
The primary and most obvious goal of all the charity. Perhaps, doing your business you already help many people by creating jobs and paying taxes. But charity lets you go a whole extra mile in the direction you really care about. Isn’t it the whole purpose of life after all?
How to do charity as a small business
According to a Wall Street Journal interview, it’s important to look for charity not far from where your business is located and involve employees in the decision about what to focus your effort at. A local charity has more chances of the positive outcome for your business as you have more access to local media and your donations will be most visible to consumers.
It’s not necessary to just pay for stuff or donate money. Try to be a bit more creative and incorporate charity into your business. Fashion retailer Modavanti.com, for instance, sends 2% of sales to one of three charities, and the company lets each customer choose the organization they wish to donate for at checkout. This reportedly increases the number of repeat purchases.
And the partnerships don’t have to be necessarily about the percentage of sales. A business in Colorado, Odell Brewing Co., invites customers to join company’s personnel to work back-to-back at local charity events, which builds a great emotional bond with the brand. There is a plenty of innovative ways do charity, and the best thing about being a small business in this situation is thinking about integration with local community.
Recent studies suggest that younger generations participate in social responsibility movement a lot, with 70 percent of millenials reporting that they'll spend more with brands that support causes.
Given that this category of customers represents $2.45 trillion in spending power and counting, your strong positioning as a socially responsible business can give you great momentum to grow in the future.
Some corporations have thought of some pretty inventive ways of doing social good - for instance, Stella Artois' "Buy a Lady a Drink" campaign, which aims at distributing extra water supplies to women in third world countries. Just remember: you don’t always need an insane budget to do good.
Here’s how we at OZiTAG do charity
We are a web and mobile development company, so the areas we decided to concentrate on are all connected with education, knowledge sharing and human intellect in general. We’ve also started to do some “volunteer coding” – we help some socially important startups get websites or mobile apps developed for free or well below market rates.
IT Education for kids
Belarus IT industry is booming at the moment. There are so many good developers here, that we actually export the majority of software development services. But it’s not going to last. We see developed countries actually lacking professionals on this front. We can’t afford to make the same mistakes, so quick and quality reinforcement is the priority for well-being here in Belarus.
That’s why we support itgen.io – a remote IT education school for kids. First, we helped the company get on its feet, and our current mission is helping as many kids get useful skills early on.
Especially if they’re talented, but unfortunately can’t afford to apply for a course. Our web and mobile developers remember growing up in small remote towns, participating in programming contests and always wanting to go one step further. That’s why we all try to give less fortunate kids fulfill their dreams.
Ever since the Soviet times, the traditions of peculiar mind tournaments stand strong here. We have our own intellectual games Western world probably has no idea about, and they’re quite popular in Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, and other post-Soviet countries.
Kids and adults regularly compete in a variety of local, national, and international tournaments; it’s always pleasant to win and get valuable rewards for your knowledge and logic.
That’s why we support a large tournament for kids and adults called “Volok and Visek cup”. We were one of the biggest sponsors and also participated in the games ourselves. The team yours truly played for ended up becoming champions, but it has nothing to do with sponsorship:)
Two of OZiTAG’s founders – Alex Korolchuk and Artiom Korolchuk – are brothers. They grew up in a small town in Western Belarus. A town with just one school and, so to say, serious challenges in the economy. Both guys grew up thanks to the place there were born in and keep supporting the school that drove them to success early on.
The Korolchuk brothers founded a scholarship for the most successful students of this school, the first award ceremony will be held in March 2018. We also have a ton of ideas about how to build on this and expand the outreach of this scholarship later – there’s still a long road ahead of us.
Socially responsible software development
It’s not a secret: web and mobile development cost quite a lot of money. And we try to make the best possible deal for every client. However, we’re going to go even further working with partners who can potentially make the lives of millions of people healthier and safer.
For instance, we helped build a mobile app for our partner Coremergy at a price way below market, at a loss-making price for us, frankly speaking. The reason is, Coremergy is a medical startup that can bring accessible EKG to every household and dramatically reduce diagnosis time for heart arrhythmias.
This can potentially save millions of lives across the globe. Today, we are happy to announce that Coremergy successfully qualified for a startup accelerator in London. The project has a bright future ahead of it, and we are happy our app helped them achieve success.
Our example shows that any business, no matter how small it is, can successfully do charity, be socially responsible, and still quite profitable. Also, doing well together brings joy and friendly atmosphere to the company. That’s why we encourage everyone to join us and support the good deeds around the world!