October 24, 2017
Did you know that 87 percent of Americans say they will purchase a product because a company advocated for an issue they cared about? In today’s business world, it’s no longer enough to consider only the bottom line. Every business is now judged by how its actions affect our culture and environment, and consumers aren’t shy about voting with their wallets.
Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR, is important for businesses of all sizes. According to an American Express survey, three-quarters of small-business owners donate a percentage of their profits to non-profit organizations, with small businesses donating an average of 6 percent of their profits to charity.
The holidays, especially, offer a wealth of opportunities to give back and promote social good, at a time when your customers are looking for opportunities to give. Here are three ways your business can do good this holiday season, with positive effects for the causes you support, your customers, and your business.
1. Donate Money—and More!
• Make a direct financial donation to an eligible 501c3 charity, ideally one with a mission that aligns with your business. For example, if you sell children’s clothing, you might support a charity that funds education or children’s health. Eligible donations can also have tax benefits. Check with your accountant to see how they can help your business.
• Donate products or services to those in need. Gourmet meat business Snake River Farms is a founding member of Beef Counts, which has donated more than 650,000 servings of quality meats to hungry families in Idaho and Washington.
• Donate space where charities can hold fundraising events.
• Donate a percentage of the sales of a certain item or service. For example, a bicycle retailer might give 10 percent of a featured bike’s price to support a community rails-to-trails program.
• Sell items on eBay and designate a percentage of the proceeds to your chosen charity, with the eBay for Charity program.
• Donate a certain percentage of a specific date’s revenue to a selected charity. Start the holiday giving season off right (and take advantage of #GivingTuesday publicity) by making the day Giving Tuesday. This year it’s November 28.
2. Make It Easy to Give
• Start a GoFundMe campaign on behalf of a charity whose mission you support. Use social media and other marketing channels to invite customers and employees to contribute.
• Have a favorite charity? Make sure it’s enrolled in PayPal Giving Fund, which makes it easy for nonprofit organizations to benefit from PayPal’s holiday and year-round fundraising initiatives and customer-giving programs.
• Enable customers to donate to a good cause at checkout. If they donate with PayPal Giving Fund they can choose from thousands of charities. PayPal covers all fees, ensuring that 100 percent of every donation goes to charity. And during the 2017 holiday giving season, PayPal will add an additional 1 percent to each donation made between November 28 and December 31. 31.
3. Walk the Walk
• Go beyond donations to make business decisions that reflect your company’s values. For example, Espresso Parts, a specialty coffee equipment business, purchases electricity generated entirely from renewable sources, and also donates to environmental conservation organizations including The Puget Soundkeeper Alliance and South of The Sound Community Farmland Trust.
• Don’t forget about your team during the holiday season. Match employees’ donations to good causes. Host holiday fund or item drives. Collect for a food pantry or sponsor a coat or toy drive. Make it easy to give back by offering paid time off to volunteer (for ideas, try VolunteerMatch). Or for a holiday teambuilding event, how about pitching in to build houses with Habitat for Humanity or volunteering at a community soup kitchen?
Don’t Be Shy
Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn. Staff whose employers support good causes have been proven to enjoy better productivity. When you let the world know how you’re supporting causes you believe in, you set a good example for other businesses. You also position your company as a conscious and engaged member of the community, increase your visibility to prospective customers and employees—all while making the world a better place,
Learn more about how PayPal helps nonprofits raise funds and businesses give back to their communities.