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Make a Difference in Your Local Community

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on April 14, 2010

In these tough economic times, I believe it’s more important than ever for small businesses and entrepreneurs to support their local communities. Although many believe they’re powerless to aid their neighbors while still running a profitable business, you may be surprised what opportunities abound when you are innovative in your approach to giving back.

Giving back can come in many forms; even the smallest gestures can go a long way in supporting some aspect of your community and also fostering a positive, healthy work environment for you and your employees. I’d like to challenge businesses of all sizes to identify ways to support their local neighbors. Here are a few suggestions to get started:

Be creative. Businesses have the opportunity to make a difference in their local communities if they think creatively. Often traditional thinking does not enable businesses or their communities to realize significant benefits. By changing the rules of the game and developing novel business models and practices, it is more than possible for small businesses to financially support their neighbors.

Go green. Making a difference doesn’t always have to come in monetary form. There are little things small businesses can do to be more energy-efficient, contributing to their local and global communities by reducing their carbon footprints. Start with small things such as recycling and reducing energy consumption by installing double thermal-pane windows and low-wattage or motion-sensitive lighting. Perhaps one day you’ll consider moving into an entirely eco-friendly facility.

Think trash-to-treasure. Don’t discount the value of possessions your company no longer needs. Old shelving, for example, could be donated to local libraries to save them the cost of purchasing new units. Before you throw away unneeded items, call around to your local libraries, schools, and shelters to see which might relish the donation.

Skip Cerier
Ypsilanti, Mich.

Reader Comments

Prof P.Madhu Sudana Rao,haramaya university,ethiopia.pia

April 14, 2010 11:32 AM

There are several ways to help the local community and become popular,by providing cost effective items and services. Children's school books , college books can be donated to libraries along with old shelves.As a teacher one may receive several books as specimens from various publishers,which can be donated for the same institutions after retirement from service.Similarly provision of drinking water,for the masses is also a good idea.The business people can institute gold medals for meritorious students by depositing the amount in a bank account and medals can be conferred to top ranking students in school day functions.It will give very wide publicity for the business man.This way the list is endless and they provide mass publicity,which is widely essential now a days.

Caryn Stofko

April 19, 2010 7:42 PM

Look for you nearest St. Vincent de Paul Society. They take donated household goods, clothing appliances,and even cars,boats and motorcycles. Their thrift stores sell some of the items to help fund their Family Support Centers. In North Georgia alone last year, SVdP helped more than 179,000 people through food pantries, car donation and transportation programs, the Sweet Dream Bed Program, Pharmacy Assistance and providing household goods to those in need. Go to, to learn more.

Andy Boian

April 20, 2010 12:48 PM

I started a PR and branding firm with offices in Denver, San Francisco and Washington D.C. focused on the concept that successful businesses are grounded in a firm connection to the communities they serve. Our talented team at dovetail solutions™ utilizes a concept we call “Strategic Community Investment” to merge business with outreach, giving our clients the tools and know-how to make community a core part of any business. By establishing long-term, strategic goals for a client’s community efforts, we are able to identify those distinct opportunities that both leverage the client’s brand and open the door to future business.

Check out our Web site at for more information on our unique, community-focused model, and feel free to send me an e-mail if you have any questions.


Andy Boian
dovetail solutions™

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