Why Entrepreneurs Should Give Back
5 Reasons That Entrepreneurs Should Give Back
Maybe you want to donate to a homeless shelter. Maybe you want to roll up your sleeves and build a school. Whatever your reasons for thinking about charitable giving, here are five reasons why it's great for entrepreneurs.
The biggest reason for entrepreneurs giving back is because it's the right thing to do. It will also feel right. Studies have shown that donating to charity can light up the same regions of your brain as running a marathon or winning big at the casino. It can make you feel like you've really accomplished something, especially if your contribution has a tangible impact on the world. For example, if you helped to clean up a beach or paint a community center, you'll get a nice glow when you see the fruits of your labor.
2. Networking Opportunities
Another benefit of entrepreneurs giving back is that it connects you to the community. You might meet vendors and investors; you might rub shoulders with local business leaders who are also being charitable. It'll get your name and face out there, and it'll give you an icebreaker if you ever meet these people in the future. You'll be able to stroll up to a CEO at a technical conference and say, "Josh, it's so nice to see you again. Do you remember me? We volunteered together at the Youth Leadership Fundraiser."
3. Positive Press
While it's true that you shouldn't be a camera hog during a charity event, there's nothing wrong with seizing the opportunity for good press. If there's a news article being written about everyone who contributed to an after-school literacy program, make sure that your company name is mentioned. In addition to being one of the first things that people will see when they look up your brand, it'll also help with your search engine optimization (SEO). The backlinks will establish you as an authoritative source to digital algorithms, so you'll rise in search engine results pages (SERPs).
4. A Stronger Team
If you're an entrepreneur with a small business or start-up, it can be a great team-building exercise to do something charitable together. This is especially true if you're giving back in a way that's related to your brand. For example, if you sell pet food, volunteering at an animal shelter can remind everyone on your team about the worth and value of what you do. If you work with kids, gathering stuffed animals for a toy drive can make everyone feel appreciative of working for such a good company.
5. Tax Benefits
Many charitable donations are tax-deductible. You can also deduct expenses related to volunteer work. While these won't recoup everything that you spent, they can help to lessen the financial burden of whatever you donated or organized, and they can also be used as a tool to legitimize your brand. Once your business is officially filing taxes and making deductions, it's no longer a pipe dream. It's a real company.
These are just a few reasons why you should be giving back to your community as an entrepreneur. Whether you're thinking about volunteering your time, hosting a fundraiser or simply donating to a good cause, you should know that altruism can be good for both your soul and your bottom line.