How Small Businesses Can Give Back to Their Community

Updated on 19 August 2022

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csr and csi

Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Social Investment (CSR and CSI) are important practices for all kinds of businesses to follow. While this involves charitable investments and donations, it doesn’t mean your business has to be worth millions before you can start to give back. Instead, any kind of small business can give back to its local community in many different ways.  

If you want to help your local community, then here are some CSR and CSI ideas that your small business can try. These ideas don’t all require major financial investments. Instead, they could just require a good cause and some time.  

Donate Products Or Services As A Form Of CSR

You don’t have to give away cash to give back to your community. One great way that small businesses can enhance their CSR and CSI is to donate their products, or services to local community organisations. This could be to charities, schools, retirement homes, or any other organisation that could do with some help.  

This strategy works especially well for small businesses that have products that they can’t sell. For example, a bakery might donate any bread left over at the end of the day, or a clothing business could donate anything left from last season’s line.  

Service businesses, like plumbers or hairdressers, can always find a way to donate their services to organisations in need. Just choose an organisation that aligns with your mission, and dedicate a day to using your services to help the community.  

Donate Your Time

Giving a helping hand and donating your time to a worthy cause is also a great CSR and CSI task. You could either help out on the weekend or close your business for a few hours while you volunteer your time. Whatever the case, it’s important to get your whole team involved.  

You could help out with a beach cleanup, make sandwiches for a food drive, organise a fun games day for a children’s charity, or anything else that matches your small business mission. 

Run a Donation Matching Campaign

Donation matching is a great way to give back to your community while also getting your customers and audience involved too. This is when you run a promotion where your business matches all donations that your customers make. 

For example, you might do a drive for a charity that provides school children with shoes. Your business could donate a pair of shoes for every pair of shoes that your customers also donate.  

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Partner With an Organisation Through CSI

An effective long-term CSR and CSI strategy is to partner with an organisation that matches your small business’s mission. This type of long-term partnership could result in many different giving tactics.  

One great idea is to donate a portion of sales on a specific product to that organisation. This works well if both organisations collaborate on that product, and you help to sell it. This also gives your customers a chance to support the organisation – something they will likely be interested in if it aligns with what your brand stands for.  

Local Sponsorships

Small businesses can sponsor local organisations that need certain items. For example, you could buy a sports kit and training equipment for a local school team. This could be done as s single act by your business, or it could be done in collaboration with other local businesses. 

Support Other Local Businesses

One of the easiest ways your small business can support the community is to support other small businesses. Sourcing your products from other local businesses is a great way to boost economic activity in your area.  

You can also promote these businesses on your website and marketing channels, or leave positive reviews for them.  

Share Your Space

If your small business has a location, you could offer a non-profit to use the space for free. This could be for an event in collaboration with your business, or for general use as an office space. 

If your business has a retail space, you could also offer some shelf space to a non-profit, where you sell their products without charging any commissions or sales percentages.  

Focusing on CSR and CSI initiatives is important for developing your brand, giving your customers more reason to support your small business, and helping your local community. The strategies above can be used by any kind of small business, and they all make a big difference. There’s really no reason why small businesses shouldn’t be helping and giving back to their local communities.  

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