What do you consider when purchasing a product? When you’re taking a leisurely stroll through Target, what elements of a product make you place the item into your cart and escort it to the checkout? Do you think about the size and shape of the product and how you can use it in your home? Do you ponder how the item can make your life easier?

Do you question if the company who makes the product is actively taking steps to give back to the community?

If you decide whether to purchase a product based on a company’s values, you aren’t the only one! In fact, 7 in 10 American millennials think the same way you do. Designing a product that users will love is no longer the sole factor in creating a successful business. Many people want to see that your company is using its profits to give back to great causes.

Take a look at the arms of a young adult, and you may see their wrists decorated with a multitude of colorful string bracelets. These bracelets aren’t worn just because they are trendy. This stylish jewelry is purchased from Pura Vida, a company that provides full-time jobs to artisans in struggling countries. Each purchase of a string bracelet serves as a source of steady income to families in countries such as Costa Rica and El Salvador. Companies like Pura Vida are on the rise, thanks to the younger generations. 4Ocean is another example. This company makes bracelets from recycled materials and removes one pound of trash from the ocean for each bracelet purchased.

Bracelets from Pura Vida and 4Ocean provide the ultimate win-win situation. By purchasing their products, you get to stay on top of fashion trends while giving back to others or contributing to environmental cleanup. Wearing these bracelets is almost like a badge of honor, as people who see you sporting the jewelry will know you are supporting philanthropic endeavors.

If you’re looking to catch the eye of consumers, consider giving back to the community around you.

Here are 5 ways you can do just that:

  1. Sponsor a Youth Sports Team 

    You can give back to your community’s youth by supporting a local sports team. DICK’S Sporting Goods supports thousands of youth sports teams from the communities in which their stores are located. On their website, you will find an application for sponsorship to be filled out by youth sports teams who are seeking some support. The company states, “We believe that sports contribute to a better world and that people who take part in sports will learn essential life skills like leadership, discipline, and integrity.”

    You don’t have to be a large corporation to sponsor a local sports team. Even if you are a smaller business, chances are one of your employees has a young athlete at home who plays for a local sports program which you could potentially sponsor.

  2. Sponsor an Event 

    College groups such as sororities, fraternities, and environmental clubs are continually giving back to charitable causes through philanthropy events. Many collegiate organizations team up with charities such as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals to raise funds for a great cause. You can sponsor these events in exchange for exposure, like your company logo on the event t-shirt, flyer, or program. Chipotle Mexican Grill has been known to sponsor philanthropy events and offer in-restaurant fundraisers where they will donate a percentage of the proceeds from a certain night to the charity.

  3. Volunteer Your Time 

    Regardless of the size of your business, gather your employees and set aside some time to volunteer. General Mills boasts that “83% of employees reported volunteering” in 2017. Their Good Works program sends professional marketers to assist nonprofit groups with their marketing needs free of charge.

    You can donate your time to your local community by helping plant flowers around the area or volunteering at a shelter or soup kitchen. If your company specializes in providing a service, you can donate your services to nonprofit organizations.

  4. Create a Buy One, Give One Campaign 

    For each product your company sells, you can give back by donating that product to someone in need. Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS, started his company on the premise of donating a new pair of shoes to a child in need each time a pair of TOMS shoes were purchased. Today, over 35 million pairs of shoes have been donated, and Mycoskie has expanded his company to include TOMS Eyewear, which works to restore sight to a person in need for each pair of eyewear purchased, as well as TOMS Roasting Co., which provides one week of clean water to someone in need each time a bag of coffee is sold.

  5. Team Up with a Charity 

    Many stores will ask you if you’d like to make a small donation to a specific charity when you are checking out. Chili’s restaurants across America team up with the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital each year to, as their website states, “ensure that no family ever receives a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing, or food.” Chili’s runs several different promotions to raise money and awareness for St. Jude, such as encouraging guests to decorate a pepper coloring sheet for a $1 donation, giving customers the option to add a donation to their bill at the end of their meal, and selling $10 t-shirts.

    You can team up with a nonprofit organization by donating a portion of your proceeds from a certain product to charity or asking customers if they would like to make a donation at checkout. An effective way to do this is by encouraging customers to round up their totals. For example, if a customer’s order comes to $24.25, ask the customer if they’d like to round their total to $25 and donate that additional $0.75 to the charity you have partnered with.

Conclusion

Audrey Hepburn once said, “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands – one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” The goal of a business is to make a profit. Without a profit, you wouldn’t have a business. Work hard to generate funds and create a successful business, and once you have done that, be sure to give back to those in need. Use one hand to generate your profit, and the other to contribute to a great cause.

About the Author

Gina Lizzo

Gina is our Social Media Intern. She is a Marketing major at La Salle University where she is also a Division I athlete on the women’s golf team. Her favorite thing to do is cheer on the New York Yankees.

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