Black Friday is almost here, with Cyber Monday right behind. But did you know that the day after Cyber Monday is now called “Giving Tuesday?”
It makes sense. After all of that eating and shopping and clicking and buying, Giving Tuesday is a chance to count our blessings and show our appreciation in a meaningful, tangible way to those for whom we are grateful. And there is no doubt that small business people have much to be thankful for. Between great employees, supportive spouses and partners, our beloved customers, a business we (usually) love, and the community that supports us, entrepreneurs and small business people are fortunate indeed.
That is why it is so important to remember the people who make the dream possible. Here are a few ways give back to those who give you so much:
Participate in holiday food drives: Down the street from me is a great little restaurant that annually adopts a family in need. They donate the food, and then solicit funds, dry goods, and other needed items from the community to donate on Christmas Eve. It is a fantastic way to both help the community, and engage the community, all at once.
Adopt a school: Along the same lines, most public schools are looking for help, whether it be school supplies, library books, or what have you. Your giving could be as simple as donating office supplies or as complex as helping to build a new playground structure. Either way you know that that kind of giving would be much appreciated by the students, the teachers, the community, and yes, your customers.
Donate: Pick a local charity and earmark a portion of all sales for that good cause. Or, simply put a donation jar next to the cash register and give the money to the group when the time is right.
Give in your customer’s name: Instead of sending out gifts to favorite clients this year, why not take the opportunity to recognize your customers by giving donations in their name to their favorite charity?
Shop at Goodshop Give: Goodshop Give is the world’s first-ever “shopfunding” site. First, tell the search engine who you want to support. Then, when you shop at thousands of participating online stores, a percentage of what you spend will be donated to that cause.
Sponsor a youth sports team: Undoubtedly, there is some local team in your neighborhood that could use new uniforms or equipment. Giving them some seed money and putting your name on the back of their jerseys is sure to make everybody happy.
Volunteer together: Spend some time with your team batting around ideas and come up with a charity for whom you would all like to volunteer. For example, you might want to work together on a Habitat for Humanity house, or maybe you would like to volunteer to feed the homeless during the holidays. There are so many options because there is so much need.
Thanking those who are so generous to us is what it’s all about. Happy Holidays!
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Steven D. Strauss is one of the world's leading experts on small business and is a lawyer, writer, and speaker. The senior small business columnist for USA Today, his Ask an Expert column is one of the most highly-syndicated business columns in the country. He is the best-selling author of 17 books, including his latest, The Small Business Bible, now out in a completely updated third edition. You can also listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success.© Steven D. Strauss
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