How Charitable Causes Can Grow Your Business (And Make You Feel Great)

Jennifer Barker

Senior Business Development Strategist

I have been involved as a volunteer with the Special Olympics for many years. Even though I was barely old enough to drive when I started volunteering, I served an important purpose at my first event. Helping athletes in relay races. Cheering on the sideline. Getting high fives and hugs when medals were received.

I may have been one of many volunteers, but it didn’t feel that way. I felt incredibly purposeful and needed. Little did I know that these feelings were more than in my head. Science shows that helping others releases feel-good chemicals in the brain that improve mood, boost nervous system function, and fight depression.

Charitable causes aren’t just beneficial to our personal lives. They also enrich our professional lives. Let’s explore the reasons why charitable causes are an important business development strategy and how to find a cause that’s important to you!

Why Helping Others Helps You, Too

Philanthropy is done with the understanding that there is no financial gain. However, this does not mean that there are no rewards. Donating your time to others has many benefits.

  • Build solid rapports. When businesses help others, people are more likely to support them. By donating your time, you can establish positive connections that will be there for you in the future. You can also anticipate increased brand awareness and sales.

  • Improve the community. Volunteering your time to build a better community does not go unnoticed. Everyone wants cleaner, safer neighborhoods. Whether it’s donating time to schools, investing in better parks or partnering with others to lead a green initiative, you’ll feel good knowing that you’re improving the local community.

  • Establish better working relationships. Giving back to the community shows employees that you care about the bigger picture.  The more satisfied your employees are, the harder they will work to meet your objectives.

  • Develop new connections. By partnering up with other organizations, you can network with other people. These networking opportunities are great assets that lead to mutual trust and respect for one another.

Tips for Choosing the Best Charitable Work

Sometimes, you have to go outside of your comfort zone to find the right cause. In my case, I found the experience to be fun, rewarding, and I really felt motivated to help. Here are a few tips for choosing the best charitable acts for your business.  

  • Select a charity you are passionate about. Helping others isn't always glorious. Some tasks are tedious while others require you to get your hands dirty. If you are passionate about the cause, it will help carry you through some of these mundane tasks.

  • Pick one charity and stick with it. You may think it looks better to have your hands in multiple charities, but this can backfire. Instead, choose one or two charities that are close to your heart. This way, you can focus your efforts on these charities rather than spreading yourself too thin.

  • Donate your skills. There is more to donate than time and money. You can also donate your skills. Consider some of the things you are good at (web design, content writing) and ask if these skills can help. You may end up with new and exciting opportunities as a result!

Helping nonprofits is a wonderful way to give back to the community, showcase your talents, and build stronger relationships. Though you may not be paid for your efforts, the benefits you receive are greater than any financial incentive.

About the Author: Jennifer Barker

Jen is the Business Development Strategist for SEMGeeks and the only team member born and raised north of the Jersey great divide, i.e. the Driscoll Bridge. Her BFA in multimedia design and extensive experience in digital marketing make her both an analytical and creative thinker. Jen has lived and worked for digital agencies in two major cities over the last 17 years but 3 years ago this “gypsy living, free bird” happily put her roots down at the Jersey Shore. The struggle to defend North Jersey to the rest of the team is an ongoing battle. #TaylorHam

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