Most successful entrepreneurs have had plenty of help along the way. Mentors, former bosses, friends and loved ones probably all played a part, providing support and inspiration when it was needed the most. Now it’s time to repay all that kindness and the best way is to give back, any way you can.
Meera Gandhi, CEO of the Giving Back Foundation, says the best way to start is to incorporate social values into the core objectives of a company. She has a few suggestions for entrepreneurs who want to build giving back into their business model:
Identify Causes that Line up with your Company
It’s important to support causes and movements that can correlate with your business for two reasons, Gandhi says. One, if it is a cause that connects with your business and your area of expertise, it’s a cause you can actually make a difference in. Secondly, charitable involvement helps and promotes your operations in a completely fresh way and opens up new marketing opportunities.
Get in Touch with NGOs and Charitable Organizations
If there is a cause you feel particularly close to, you can research and find out the key organizations and groups that work in the field. Consider a partnership, and think about donating products and services to help the organizations you have identified as being useful.
Get Your Employees Involved
If you are aligning your business and organizational objectives toward a social model, it would be wise to involve your employees as much as possible. Instilling a social aspect helps to improve the culture in the workplace.
Entrepreneur Timothy Skyes says giving back has allowed him to connect with communities in new and exciting ways. He recently witnessed the opening of the Tim Grittani school in Bali, Indonesia, the culmination of many months of hard work. “As well as seeing a great school opening in a developing part of the world, I built a lot of relationships through it,” Sykes says.
Further to the topic of relationships, Sykes has found that giving back has organically improved his social media following. Always highlight what you’re doing on social media because what’s helpful for you is also beneficial for the cause that you are supporting, he says.
Giving back has had a significant impact on serial entrepreneur Bobby Genovese who lives in the Bahamas and for years has supported children through his involvement with Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children. Believing that giving to others is both a responsibility and a privilege, Genovese has chaired the annual Car and Boat Rally Scavenger Cups, which have raised more than $20 million for the pediatric cancer care centre.
Needless to say, expanding your business towards giving back to those who need help is a worthwhile initiative for any entrepreneur.