They say that the holiday season is the season of giving, and not without merit: according to Statistics Canada, $5 billion of the estimated $13 billion of charitable gifts given by Canadians are donated within the last six weeks of the year. That’s roughly 40 percent!
Small businesses can get in on the power of philanthropy during the holiday season. It is largely thought that big corporations are the drivers of charitable giving, but the data shows that, as a percentage of their earnings, small businesses are willing to share a far greater amount with the communities they live in. Among large enterprises, social network Alignable found, the average donation is about 2.8% of earnings. Among small businesses, it’s around ten percent. This shows just how invested small businesses really are in making their surroundings a better place to live.
Charitable donations don’t have to come in the form of cash. You can donate goods and services or even the vale of your time. Many small businesses engage their communities in collections drives benefiting regional charities as well as spearheading their own charitable efforts – involving their customers at the same time as they create opportunities for others.
As a small business owner, how can you integrate the positive ideals and valuable exposure that comes with making charitable contributions into your business model, without shaving your margin for real-world profitability too close for comfort?
First of all, think about why you’re giving, and how your decision to do so fits into the broader vision of your business’ identity. Focusing on one highly meaningful campaign will minimize the amount of administration you have to do, as well.
Even small gifts can be effective: don’t compromise your existing cash flow and longer term financial stability in your efforts to benefit others. Make charitable giving a part of your annual budgetary planning, and build it into the expected ebb and flow of your business model.
Lastly, consider the tax and benefit implications to your business, and how different kinds of charitable giving can affect the way you claim reimbursements. Just like individual donors, business owners should itemize every cash donation and save receipts, just in case you don’t know exactly what can be claimed under what conditions.
Here at Merchant Advance, we’ve partnered with CHIMP to make charitable giving part of our day to day operations. This is just one of the portals through which you can start engaging employees and customers to participate in charitable efforts – building your small business into a socially conscious participant in the local economy.