peaks n valleys

GIVING BACK — This past summer, Peaks N Valleys Roofing donated their time and talents to repair the roof of a person served by Bona Vista Programs. Small businesses with specific skills are incredibly valuable to the nonprofit community.

The relationship between small businesses (or companies of any size, for that matter) and nonprofits are mutually beneficial. Nonprofits ask for donations; companies respond by sponsoring nonprofits' important projects and events.

For the past two years I’ve written about how you can be a difference-maker in the community. This year, I thought I would focus more on the business community. But, these same points can ring true for individuals, too. If you’re a member of a club or team, you operate much like a small group of coworkers. So all the same rules apply.

If you are employed and your business doesn’t currently support the nonprofit community, I would encourage you to muster up 30 seconds of courage and show this to your employer! They may not know where to start, or they may not know that community involvement is important to their employees. You could be the spark that inspires change!

1. Host a volunteer day!

This suggestion offers two purposes. It gives your employees a chance to bond as a team, and it allows them to effect some positive change at the same time. All non-profits can use volunteers, and all businesses can use goodwill in the community. You may even form a strong partnership with the nonprofit you choose that potentially could lead to more opportunities for your employees to help improve your community.

2. Offer skills-based services!

If your employees have skills or services that they can lend to an organization, encourage them to do so! Are you a lawyer who can offer legal advice, an accountant who can offer financial help, or a carpenter who can provide handy services? Do that! Nonprofits are often unable to pay for these types of services or hire outside help. You could even teach classes to provide nonprofits with your knowledge. The more we know, the better we all are. Right?

3. Become a nonprofit board member!

Support Local Journalism

Now, more than ever, the world needs trustworthy reporting—but good journalism isn’t free. Please support us by making a contribution.

If you or someone in the company has a real passion for a certain nonprofit, you might consider making a larger impact by becoming a board member. Granted, this is an unpaid volunteer position that might require behind-the-scenes work, but it is a great opportunity for someone who wants a more committed, long-term way to make a difference. Many nonprofit boards are made up of major gift donors or people with extensive knowledge of the nonprofit, but don’t let that stop you! Many nonprofits are looking for caring individuals who want to make a difference and who are willing to do whatever it takes to make that difference. Those are the kind of people we want, too!

4. Encourage employees to attend nonprofit events!

After a long day at the office, your employees may not find the idea of going to a nonprofit’s event the most thrilling way to end the day. Believe me, when I get off work I’m guilty of wanting to go home and get in sweatpants as fast as I can. However, attending events doesn’t just result in more support for nonprofits, but it’s also a great way for your employees to bond over a good cause. So whether you buy the staff tickets to the event as an appreciation for all of the work they do for you or whether you encourage them to go on their own, supporting the work of nonprofits is important and fun at the same time!

5. Start matching your employees’ donations!

Yep. I went there. I hope this doesn’t make me lose you and everything else we’ve already talked about, but money is important to nonprofits, and that’s no secret. So, let’s get the elephant right out of the corner. Many larger corporations match their employees’ donations to nonprofits, but it’s usually harder for small businesses to do so. Not impossible, though. You don’t have to start a matching program at 4:1 or something exaggerated. At first, just select one or two nonprofits that you will match donations to. If the program seems successful, you can always expand the matching options. This helps demonstrate your corporate social responsibility to the community and shows your employees that you care about what they care about.

These are just a few ways your small business can help nonprofits, but they are in no way the only ones. You might find that something else works better for your company. That’s great! Find out what your employees enjoy that also gives benefits to nonprofits. Or, reach out to a nonprofit that’s important to you and ask them how you can help! Many nonprofits are just waiting for someone to want to step up and help in certain ways.

Are you a difference-maker? I challenged you with this same question last year, but I think it’s important to reflect and ask yourself that question every year (multiple times): Would someone look at you and say, “At this time in my life, you made a difference to me!” If you can’t think of a single instance in your life where someone could say that about you, change it up in 2020! Take the fresh start of a new year to leave your legacy.

The relationship between small businesses (or companies of any size, for that matter) and nonprofits are mutually beneficial. Nonprofits ask for donations; companies respond by sponsoring nonprofits' important projects and events. For the past two years I’ve written about how you can be a difference-maker in the community. This year, I thought I would focus more on the business community. But, these same points can ring true for individuals, too. If you’re a member of a club or team, you operate much like a small group of coworkers. So all the same rules apply. If you are employed and your business doesn’t currently support the nonprofit community, I would encourage you to muster up 30 seconds of courage and show this to your employer! They may not know where to start, or they may not know that community involvement is important to their employees. You could be the spark that inspires change!1. Host a volunteer day!This suggestion offers two purposes. It gives your employees a chance to bond as a team, and it allows them to effect some positive change at the same time. All non-profits can use volunteers, and all businesses can use goodwill in the community. You may even form a strong partnership with the nonprofit you choose that potentially could lead to more opportunities for your employees to help improve your community. 2. Offer skills-based services!If your employees have skills or services that they can lend to an organization, encourage them to do so! Are you a lawyer who can offer legal advice, an accountant who can offer financial help, or a carpenter who can provide handy services? Do that! Nonprofits are often unable to pay for these types of services or hire outside help. You could even teach classes to provide nonprofits with your knowledge. The more we know, the better we all are. Right?3. Become a nonprofit board member!If you or someone in the company has a real passion for a certain nonprofit, you might consider making a larger impact by becoming a board member. Granted, this is an unpaid volunteer position that might require behind-the-scenes work, but it is a great opportunity for someone who wants a more committed, long-term way to make a difference. Many nonprofit boards are made up of major gift donors or people with extensive knowledge of the nonprofit, but don’t let that stop you! Many nonprofits are looking for caring individuals who want to make a difference and who are willing to do whatever it takes to make that difference. Those are the kind of people we want, too!4. Encourage employees to attend nonprofit events!After a long day at the office, your employees may not find the idea of going to a nonprofit’s event the most thrilling way to end the day. Believe me, when I get off work I’m guilty of wanting to go home and get in sweatpants as fast as I can. However, attending events doesn’t just result in more support for nonprofits, but it’s also a great way for your employees to bond over a good cause. So whether you buy the staff tickets to the event as an appreciation for all of the work they do for you or whether you encourage them to go on their own, supporting the work of nonprofits is important and fun at the same time!5. Start matching your employees’ donations!Yep. I went there. I hope this doesn’t make me lose you and everything else we’ve already talked about, but money is important to nonprofits, and that’s no secret. So, let’s get the elephant right out of the corner. Many larger corporations match their employees’ donations to nonprofits, but it’s usually harder for small businesses to do so. Not impossible, though. You don’t have to start a matching program at 4:1 or something exaggerated. At first, just select one or two nonprofits that you will match donations to. If the program seems successful, you can always expand the matching options. This helps demonstrate your corporate social responsibility to the community and shows your employees that you care about what they care about.These are just a few ways your small business can help nonprofits, but they are in no way the only ones. You might find that something else works better for your company. That’s great! Find out what your employees enjoy that also gives benefits to nonprofits. Or, reach out to a nonprofit that’s important to you and ask them how you can help! Many nonprofits are just waiting for someone to want to step up and help in certain ways.Are you a difference-maker? I challenged you with this same question last year, but I think it’s important to reflect and ask yourself that question every year (multiple times): Would someone look at you and say, “At this time in my life, you made a difference to me!” If you can’t think of a single instance in your life where someone could say that about you, change it up in 2020! Take the fresh start of a new year to leave your legacy.