There are More Ways to Impact Society than ‘Giving Back’

Many companies understand the importance of corporate philanthropy, they often give to communities through corporate foundations, charity donations, health campaigns and social awareness programs. These companies even have departments whose sole focus is managing activities around the corporate social responsibility vision of the organisation.

Over 200 communities have benefited from MTN Foundation’s projects which includes the provision of boreholes, school furniture, transformers and donation of household items to orphanages, the list is endless with many big companies springing up with diverse community driven projects to impact the society. But even as a start-up company without deep pockets, there are more ways to support non-profit organizations without writing fat checks. Here are three ways you can impact society:

Skills-based Volunteering

Everyone has a skill that could be used to empower other people. As a start-up willing to contribute to community development, you can evaluate the skills of your employees and how it can be employed in training a group of youths either undergraduates or fresh graduates in some selected local government areas. Also, if you run a consulting firm, consider working with a non-profit organisation to create a business development strategy or establish a stronger brand identity. Most non-profits do not have the resources to tackle business needs that are not critical to directly providing services to their clients. By offering pro-bono expertise, you can make a meaningful non-monetary donations that yield results.

Sit on a Board

As an entrepreneur, you can offer your time and expertise by serving on the board of a charity that you reckon with. Your experience with building and growing a business will translate in many ways to the needs of a charity organisation. Serving on a board usually involves of a mix of fundraising and governance responsibilities. Before scouting for non-profits of your interests, have a fundraising obligation that is comfortable for you and where you can see your skills complimenting the business and governance needs of the organisation.

Support Social Campaigns

Irrespective of the line of business you are in, you have a critical resource that most NGOs are in dire need of, the work force that can lend a helping hand. Apart from giving financial support, partner with NGOs in their social campaigns, encourage your employees to participate and create more awareness about the humanitarian programs and initiatives. Volunteering can also have a positive effect on employee morale while serving as a tangible representation of your company’s commitment to giving back.

The size of your corporate bank account doesn’t necessarily correlate to the positive change you can bring about in the community where you work and live. Be resourceful and creative about what your start-up can offer and remember that every little bit of contribution adds value to your brand and it is a magnetic force that can attract more customers to your business.

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