In the early years of a business, entrepreneurs are focused solely on gaining market share and success. Bill Gates is a notable case. Once his business dominated the market and the internal structure was stable enough to maintain and grow the business, the richest man in the world turned his attention to giving back to the world around him.
It isn’t necessary to reach that kind of success before a successful business gives back to the community. Entrepreneurs all over the globe are earning the love and respect of their communities with their charitable gifts. Here are a few ways that your business can become a pillar of the community.
1. Sponsor or contribute to a school event
It’s no secret that schools are struggling to keep their arts programs. Companies can sponsor field trips, buy a musical instrument, or arrange for an artist to come for a special teach-in at a local high school. The good news is that these types of contributions are also welcome for sports activities, special needs children, and science activities. Find out what’s going on in your school district and see how you can help.
2. Establish a college scholarship fund
To ensure that the youth of today can become the leaders of tomorrow, why not help a deserving student get their college education. Many companies establish scholarship funds to honor the memory of a company founder. These awards can be made for students planning on studying at a particular institution or in a specific program of study. Talk to a representative at an area high school or university to see what you need to do to establish a fund.
3. Sponsor a green space in your community
Area parks are always in need of maintenance and upgrades. Why not work with a local parks committee and contribute funds for pathways, playgrounds, and plantings. Not only will you enrich the lives of others by doing so, but, if you are local, you will also get a chance to wander the grounds and experience the beauty. Parks are a source of civic pride and are often gifted with extras by area businesses and citizens.
4. Sponsor a local athletic team
This time honored tradition is a favorite of many local businesses. As a contributor, you’ll get the chance to see how proud the kids are to play in their new jerseys. Many athletic programs are also looking for sporting equipment and improvements for their facilities. It’s a great way to create stronger communities.
5. Reach out to those in need at food banks and homeless shelters
When hard times hit, food banks and homeless shelters are there for them. During the holiday season, donations peak. However, it is during the rest of the year that contributions are most needed. Sponsor an employee food drive during the spring or summer months to help fill the gap. Plan on matching every donation with company funds to make the gift go further.