Big checks and famous sponsors are often associated with business philanthropy. Luckily, small businesses, sole proprietors, and foundations like Cane Bay Company, can also find ways to leverage their resources and give back to those in need.
Put Your Professional Skills to Charitable Use
You don’t have to step out of your comfort zone to do charity work – if you are not comfortable working with kids, you could help homeless veterans or the elderly. A great way to comfortably practice philanthropy is to stick with what you know. Leverage your business skills to help others that would find them useful.
Here are some examples:
Whether you are a writer, artist, lawyer, engineer, aviator, or chef, etc., there is someone out there that dreams of working in your field. You could change someone’s life by sparing 15 minutes or a couple of hours a week:
- Utilize Coffee Breaks – have an informal chat with inquirers over coffee once a week.
- Online Conference – Skype, Google Chat, and GoToMeeting are among the many online tools for video chat.
- Directly teach your skill – Engineers could tutor a student in math, science, or basic engineering. Artists may paint an elderly person’s house or teach creative kids how to do a mural. Chefs may consider conducting healthy cooking demos at a school.
Give Away Professional Attire or Equipment
If you work in a field that requires constant upkeep, you could donate used clothes ( in good condition of course) to a shelter, job program, or school.
Office work often requires suits for men and blouses or heeled shoes for women – items that someone may not have if they are a broke college student or trying to recover from a bad economic situation. Construction workers could donate old tools or steel-toe boots. Chefs could donate old pots and cookbooks.
Sponsor a Relevant Intern
A small business or sole proprietor may need help but have a limited budget. You could sponsor an intern and pay them at least minimum wage or get an unpaid intern if you are willing to follow a few extra steps to ensure legality. This is also a cost-effective way to consider a future hire.
Develop a professional plan to help the intern learn something valuable in your business – don’t just have them do coffee and lunch runs unless they are learning the basics of delivery service.
Make it Fun
Do you or your staff enjoy cooking? Why not have a bake sale and donate the food to a local soup kitchen? You could also sell the baked goods among yourselves and donate the money to a charity of choice instead.
Get Food on Sale to Donate
If you or your small staff don’t like baking, consider focusing on collecting extra food that is on sale. The next time you see a 2 for 1 or 4 for $5 deal on boxed or canned food items, save the extra item. See how many items your small business can collect in a month.
These are just a few of the creative ways that a small business or individual worker can use their skills and resources to give back. If you have questions about how to use your resources to help those in the Virgin Islands, please contact Cane Bay Company today.