Business needs to give back to the community

By Jeff Bowman

It’s getting colder outside, the hydro rates are climbing, the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables is on the rise and gas prices will soon climb as demand increases. Troublesome as they are, these things are not nearly as critical to me as they are for many people in our community.

As long as I have been in business, I have recognized the need for giving back. The term Corporate Responsibilitywasn’t even used 20 or 25 years ago, however taking care of the community was something that was just simply understood by business people, and many of us did it without thinking twice. Social and community organizations flourished, and everyone from grocery stores to kids canvassing door to door took it upon themselves to assist for those less fortunate.

I remember going to all my newspaper delivery customers as a 10-year-old to collect dimes and nickels for The Jerry Lewis Telethon, then throwing in my tips for the week to bump the donation up to $10.00. Yes, I considered myself a business person way back then with my paper route. It was sales and marketing on a small scale. I recognized that there was a need, so I contributed, and have continued to do so today. No doubt there are many of you out there reading the blog now saying to yourselves “the recession has hit my business, so I don’t have extra to give”, and I recognize that.  As a marketer, I’m urging you to think outside the box.  Responsibility does not simply lie in the giving of monetary support, although that is a large portion of the need.

As I see it, if you have a business that operates in the local community, there is an unwritten requirement to do what you can within your means to assist when you can. Assistance can be anything from purchasing from a company that donates a portion of sales to a charity, volunteering for a few hours to canvas, serve burgers or assist with a drive of some sort, giving useable office supplies or equipment to an organization rather than dumping them at the curb, joining a local service organization, or even holding a small event yourself to encourage other local businesses to join you in supporting a cause. There are many ways you can help.

The need for assistance in the community has never been greater, nor has the number of organizations looking for your help.  I understand that we can’t help everyone, however if every business person picked a local charity, branch organization or chapter to assist in some way with whatever they could, the need would certainly be decreased. Simply Google local charities in your area to see who you can help.  The choice between going to a movie or dinner is sometimes difficult for the majority of us, the choice between eating and heating is a more difficult choice for others in our community.

Give some exposure to a local charity by replying to this blog with the charity’s name and URL.

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Filed under Jeff Bowman, Marketing, not-for-profit

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