Giving back to the community feels great. Americans have a strong tradition of giving back by volunteering for nonprofit organizations. Nationally, about 30% of us volunteer for a nonprofit. My community, the Washington, DC/Arlington/Alexandria area, tops those averages with 38.3% of residents giving over 148 million hours of service worth an estimated $3.5 billion.
Volunteering not only feels great, it can also build your business credibility. Which would your potential customers choose – a business that is not engaged in the community or your business, which is visibly giving back by sponsoring nonprofit events and allowing employees time to volunteer? The choice is obvious. Customers will choose your business every time because they already feel good about you.
Makes sense, but volunteering is an investment of time and money that needs to fit into the rest of your business. Think about these three ways that businesses can build their credibility by volunteering to see if it fits into your business:
Sponsoring a nonprofit event or connecting your team with on-site or virtual volunteer projects is one way to get the name of your business in front of more potential customers. Event sponsorship and volunteering are not free, but if you’re paying to get your business name out there, it may as well be linked with a worthy cause.
When you are doing good, people will assume that you are good, or at least dependable and credible. Establishing your credibility as an honorable and trusted business through volunteering will make potential customers look at your business first when making a purchasing decision.
- Employee Enrichment
More than ever before, employees want a job where they can feel good about what they are doing and contribute to a better future. While workers can certainly volunteer on their own time, businesses that provide opportunities to volunteer as a team increase employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention.
Customers prefer to give their money to businesses like yours, which are visibly giving back to their community. They already feel good about you. Volunteering is a money and time investment in your business that you need to carefully assess. Thinking through the ways you can build your business credibility will increase the likelihood that customers will choose your business over one that is not visibly giving back.