The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

How Charity Benefits Small Businesses

group of volunteers doing charity work
Photo by cottonbro studio |

Why Get Involved With Charity?

Today, a business’s involvement in the community is just as, if not more, important as its profits. Giving to charity benefits the causes and communities it supports and strengthens its brand image. However, it’s vital to market charitable efforts properly, as it can either improve or damage public relations.

Juile Thompson from states that consumers are becoming more adept at distinguishing between companies only trying to enhance their image and those genuinely caring about the causes they support.

Running a small business allows you to express your passion and creativity while positively impacting your customers’ lives. A small business can also serve as a platform for promoting a cause you and your team care about. By incorporating a charitable aspect into your brand, website, and social media presence, you can benefit personally and professionally, says Buffer’s Umber Bhatti.

Charity Involvement Incentives

Bhatti says that many people prefer to support businesses that align with their values and beliefs. Bhatti refers to a 2018 survey by Marketing Dive, which states that 63% of individuals favor purchasing from companies that prioritize social causes.

By promoting awareness of a social issue and taking action to address it, you can feel personally fulfilled and enhance your brand’s integrity. This approach benefits both your business and the cause you support, attracting more customers who share your values.

In addition, a 2019 survey by the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, SCORE, states that participating in company-sponsored volunteering activities can positively impact employees, with 93% of respondents expressing satisfaction with their employer. In addition…

  • 92% of respondents report improvements to their leadership skills and expand their professional skills
  • 77% report volunteering contributing to employee well-being
  • 70% note a boost in morale
  • 64% report strengthening in camaraderie among work colleagues

How Small Businesses Are Getting Involved

The survey also says that 75% of small business owners donate an average of 6% of their profits to charitable organizations each year. In addition, they donate 250% more than larger businesses to local nonprofits and community causes.

Thompson suggests that even if your intentions are purely altruistic, it’s still possible to set goals for giving. For example, if a family member struggles with a medical condition, consider supporting charities that assist individuals with that disease.

Alternatively, you could align your charitable donations with your products or services. If your target audience is parents with young children, you could donate to charities focused on children’s hospitals or educational programs.

Per the SCORE survey:

  • 66% of small businesses contribute to local charities
  • 48% support youth organizations
  • 42% donate to local first responders
  • 39% support local religious organizations
  • 37% aid local service groups such as Rotary Club and Scouts
  • And 32% donate food or volunteer in soup kitchens

Here’s a great example from Bhatti’s article to convey how a small business contributes to a good cause.

A Small Business Giving Back – A Dozen Cousins

A Dozen Cousins is a family-owned and Black-operated business established in 2017. They specialize in selling three primary food products: packaged beans, bone broth rice, and seasoning sauces. The company takes pride in using only natural ingredients while retaining its Caribbean, creole, and Latin flavors. They aim to encourage families of all backgrounds to consume healthier food options and live longer, more dynamic lives.

A significant aspect of their mission is to provide high-quality food products affordable to all, regardless of income level. A Dozen Cousins is already removing obstacles to healthy eating by offering nutritious, budget-friendly, and convenient meal choices. To further their vision, the company awards a yearly grant to a nonprofit organization that strives to address socio-economic health disparities in the United States.

Source: Instagram

Since 2019, A Dozen Cousins has supported several organizations, including The Happy Kitchen/La Cocina Alegre, Project Potluck, Los Angeles Community Fridges, and Hike Clerb. These initiatives aim to break down barriers to healthy eating, increase access to food education, and reconnect people of color with nature. Through partnerships with similar organizations and financial assistance, A Dozen Cousins can fulfill its mission to bring more awareness around healthy diets to all.

The Lesson We Can Learn

Bhatti suggests that if you need more resources to begin your own projects, you should collaborate with a nearby nonprofit that is already engaged in the work. Instead of making infrequent or sporadic contributions, you may establish a yearly grant program like A Dozen Cousins. This approach also guarantees that you are assisting several nonprofits rather than just one.

Umber Bhatti’s article presents five businesses, and this is the first one. If you want to know more, I highly recommend reading it in full here.

We’ve discussed the significance of supporting a cause that aligns with your brand and how a small business can benefit from consistent donation efforts. To wrap up, let me offer you a helpful tip from Rob Glover’s Hootsuite guide on social media fundraising and further guidance on charity involvement from Emily Heaslip’s 2022 U.S. Chamber of Commerce article to get started.

Additional Charity Involvement Guidance

Use the Right Tools

Fundraising organizations often operate with limited resources and time constraints. However, social media platforms offer useful tools to increase efficiency and effectiveness:

  • Facebook’s fundraising suite offers donate buttons, supporter fundraising campaigns, and automated ‘thank you’ replies.
  • Instagram provides support buttons, fundraiser posts, donation stickers, and collaborations with creators and celebrities.
  • YouTube’s non-profit program includes dedicated technical support and Link Anywhere Cards to direct viewers to fundraising websites. A specific YouTube program is available for education organizations.
  • TikTok for Good has numerous crowdfunding campaign ideas and fundraiser tools, along with account management support.
  • And lastly, Twitter offers pro bono ad credits, advertising resources, and skills training to aid non-profits in achieving their fundraising objectives.

Let Others Speak on Your Behalf

It’s ideal for others to promote your charitable activities for you. Forbes suggests encouraging customers to share your efforts on social media using hashtags and shoutouts. You can also ask your employees to support your cause on their own social media accounts. Nonprofits that benefit from your giving can showcase your charity work on their websites and social media pages.

By sharing user-generated content on your own platforms, you can spread the word without appearing self-promotional.

Craft Your Messaging Carefully

A Harvard Business School study discovered that how you describe your charitable donation can impact how consumers respond.

When you state your donation amount as a percentage of your earnings, e.g., “10% of sales going to x,” vs. a specific dollar amount, e.g., “$10,000 will go to x,” customers are more receptive.

“There’s some goodwill associated with that type of generosity and therefore, people are more likely to prefer those brands over others.”

Elizabeth Keenan – Assistant Professor of Business Administration

This perception generates goodwill and makes people more inclined to choose these brands over others. It’s important to donate with the intention of giving back and not just to enhance your brand. Regardless of the amount, any donation can make a significant impact.

Suppose you want to continue your research on the more technical side of charitable social media marketing via ways to set and measure social media goals. In that case, feel free to check out Nonprofit Goal Setting and Measurement for Social Media Explained by Jay C here on The Social Observer.

Category: Social Media Marketing 101

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