Requests from schools, charities, and other local community groups can be a challenging, difficult, for small business retailers. If you don’t have a structured approach, you’ll end up giving away a lot for little or no return.
Guilt is a powerful emotion, and some representing charities and community groups know this. Take a beat and think through how you want to handle such requests in advance of them coming your way. If you have a process you can deal with the requests consistently and with less stress.
Here’s our advice for local small business retailers on handling community group donation requests:
- Manage your philanthropy like any business activity. Decide how much money you’re willing to donate each year, and then stick to that budget.
- Get on the front foot. Write to community groups at the start of the year and ask them to submit a proposal if they’d like your support. This way, you can choose the groups that are a good fit for your business and your community.
- Support the groups that support you. Look for groups that have members who are also your customers. This way, you’re helping both the group and your business.
- Let your shoppers choose. If you offer discount vouchers, you could let customers donate their vouchers to a local group. This is a great way to get your customers involved in your community giving.
- Reward engagement. You could offer a discount to customers who are members of a local group. This would encourage them to shop at your business, and it would also support the group. This is critical advice. There has to be a commercial benefit for your business if you are to be able to help these community groups into the future.
- Educate groups about good engagement. Let groups know that you’re looking for ways to work together to benefit the community. You could ask them to do things like promote your business on their social media pages, or write about you in their newsletters.
- Write about your engagement. Once you’ve chosen the groups you’re going to support, write about it on your website and social media. Don’t be boastful or arrogant, be grateful. This will help to raise awareness of the groups, and it will also show your customers that you’re committed to giving back to the community.
Remember, your giving should serve both your heart and your business. By following these tips, you can make sure that your donations are a valuable investment for both you and your community.
Here are some additional tips:
- Be clear about your expectations. Let groups know what you’re looking for in a partnership, and what you expect from them in return.
- Be professional. Even if you’re dealing with a small community group, it’s important to be professional in your dealings with them.
- Be grateful. When a group partners with you, be sure to thank them for their support.
By following these tips, you can build strong relationships with community groups and make a real difference in your community.
Why this advice from our POS software company matters.
Every day we connect with small business retailers about their businesses, through our help desk, in sales situations and elsewhere. Owning and running a local small business retail shop is challenging, time-consuming. Coming up with fresh ideas is hard. It’s necessary though. The ideas we share here are things we have tried, and found to work.