10 Innovative Ways Your Business Can Give Back

Employee donation-matching programs are an excellent way for businesses to give back.

But companies today are exploring new ways to contribute to their communities, simultaneously stimulating employee (and customer) engagement and having a great impact overall.

Here are 10 ideas you can start implementing right now.

1. Gamify ‘going green’

Composting isn’t new, and honestly…not very exciting.  But you know what is? Gardening, and getting outside during the work day!

The team at Churchill Education has a bucket for food scraps in the company kitchen, which they empty regularly into a compost bin used to grow a small herb garden. Team members can pick the herbs, plant them and share the resulting produce.

This is a fun and hands-on way to engage your employees and promote good environmental health throughout your business.

2. Auction off goodies

Local Australian artwork

‘Rainy Day in 3D’ original artwork for online auction.

Auctions are a simple way to raise money for a cause you care about. This raises awareness about your company and your cause, and is a fun way to showcase your new and exciting products.

Bluethumb has a great model in place for this kind of fundraising.They teamed up with local artists to auction off one-of-a-kind artwork online. This is truly win-win: the artists get exposure, and the businesses get to give back.

3. ‘Giving’ incentives for meeting deadlines

kenyan project to treat malaria

B1G1 Malaria treatment project in Kenya

Whether it’s incentivizing clients, or employees to hustle towards a business goal, adding a ‘giving’ reward is a sure way to move them to action.

Accounting firm Jonathan Ford & Co uses this method to motivate their clientele to file their tax returns on time, by sponsoring one child’s malaria treatment overseas via B1G1 Business for Good for every timely return received.

4. Give away extra products

wearable walkie-talkie

Orion Lab’s ‘Onyx’ wearable communication device.

If your company sells physical goods, you are bound to have extra materials and old models laying around. Don’t let them go to waste!

When Orion Labs released their second-gen devices in the market, they saw an opportunity to put the leftover first-gen inventory to good use at a local homeless youth organization. They donated the devices, and trained the nonprofit’s team so that these electronics could improve communications within the program and help it run more seamlessly.

5. Donate your space to causes

empty meeting room

Basic meeting set up can go a long way.

Nonprofits and charities are often looking for space to use for meetings, events and fundraisers… so why not let them use your empty after-hours workspace to do so?

Chanson Water USA lets charitable organizations use their office space for events, giving back simply by not letting their space go to waste. On top of donating their unused space, they also donate their product, water ionizers, to cancer patients!

6. Teach a man to fish, whatever ‘fishing’ is for you

You’re an expert in your field, so offer up your expertise!

So many nonprofits target helping individuals with business development skills and life-skills in general. Offering free expertise, like what Directive Consulting suggests, can make a world of difference for those looking to get their businesses off the ground.

7. Hire in an underserved community

Some members of the Eighteen Chefs team!

Some members of the Eighteen Chefs team!

Providing a job opportunity is one of the most valuable resources a business can offer for getting people off the streets and back on their feet. Eighteen Chefs in Singapore offers former convicts and troubled youth much-needed second chances by bringing them on to their team.

While it might take a little extra vetting, this is a truly commendable way to help your community grow.

8. Give ‘giving’ for special occasions

A Gratitude Certificate in place of a Gift Card

Providing ‘giving credits’ to your employees is a great way to celebrate milestones and reward achievements.

Jane Burns of Lighthouse Health Group celebrates each employees birthday month by giving directly to a cause of their choice, using the B1G1 business-giving platform. A $20 gift card can get you a movie ticket, but that same $20 could also give 2,000 days of access to clean water in Africa. Which do you think your employees would appreciate more?

This ‘giving gift card’ can be replicated for customer engagements, weddings and even birth announcements!

9. Select suppliers that care

Starbucks sources directly from local and ethical suppliers.

Starbucks sources directly from local and ethical suppliers.

All the good you are doing can be wiped away in an instant by suppliers that don’t share your socially conscious vision. Ensure that your raw materials are produced ethically, and become a more sustainable business in the process.

Starbucks makes it a priority to source their raw materials from local suppliers that have proven that they care about their communities. That contagious, caring disposition trickles all the way down from the coffee beans into their customers’ cups.

10. Let employees volunteer while on the clock

Allow your employees to volunteer during office hours!

Encourage your employees to volunteer during [a few] office hours!

Allow your employees to take some time away from the daily grind to volunteer for a cause of their choosing.  Black N Bianco organizes volunteer opportunities as team-building events, often serving meals together at a local shelter.

Giving back brings greater purpose and meaning to your business, and creates better connections with your team, your customers, and most importantly, with yourself.

B1G1 makes it easy for businesses to give back in meaningful ways. Learn how your business can start giving back today. 

About Tracy Oppenheimer

Tracy joined B1G1 at the beginning of 2016 to oversee creative content, and produce videos to showcase the amazing things B1G1 & its partners are doing. She shoots and edits, but is first and foremost a storyteller. So she'll also be writing, handling social media, and making it impossible for you not to want to get more involved!