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Charitable giving for small businesses

It's the season of giving - not just for individuals, but for businesses as well. As the year draws to a close, it's an optimal time for small business owners to consider their plans for charitable involvement.

Why?

Apart from the feel-good reward that results from being generous toward others, there are concrete business reasons for charitable giving. It can provide benefits such as:

  • Tax advantages: Donating cash, inventory or other in-kind contributions can be a key way to offset your business income. However, make sure you consult with a tax adviser, as important limits and guidelines may apply.
  • Increased goodwill: Getting involved in the community through charitable organizations and events is a great way to boost your brand. It establishes your business as a reputable organization that's about more than just making money. When people have a positive view of your business, they're more likely to send friends and family your way - and to become customers themselves.
  • Networking opportunities: Charitable events often attract local business leaders across various sectors. By attending these events, you can make valuable connections that could pave the way for your business's growth down the road.

There are many ways to get involved in charitable work throughout the community. Beyond just donating your time, cash or inventory, consider sponsoring a nonprofit organization such as a youth sports league. Or participate in a local fundraising event. Doing so can provide far-reaching publicity for your business.

Another strategy is to choose charitable organizations that tie into your business's brand, mission or back story. For example, if you own a veterinary practice, consider partnering with a local humane society. This approach can solidify your goodwill among customers who already have an interest in the products or services you offer.

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