This month is all about the heart: heart health, having heart, and giving back. And when it comes to giving back, it turns out it’s not only good for your soul but good for business as well.

Still, many small business owners feel like giving back is only something large corporations can do. After all, they have the money and resources to pretty much do whatever they want. As a small business owner, though, giving back might be even more important – it creates unbreakable ties to the community, attracts new customers, introduces networking opportunities, and makes employees happier.

Here’s how you can give back without breaking the bank:

Offer In-Kind Donations

Gifts-in-kind is a type of charitable giving where instead of donating money, you donate time or services. For example, if you own a printing business, you might provide flyers for a charity event. If you’re in online marketing, you might provide pro-bono social media management. It’s a safe bet that no matter what goods or service your business provides, there is a charity that can use it!

Provide Mentorship or Training

There are dozens of ways you can share your knowledge in a way that will benefit the community. A few options include:

  • Mentor new small business owners: your years of knowledge could help someone else get on the road towards success
  • Offer paid internships to local high school and college students: they will gain on-the-job training while you get affordable labor
  • Offer free courses or seminars at women’s shelters or homeless shelters

Encourage Employees to Volunteer

Can’t write a check? That’s okay. Allow employees time to volunteer while they’re on the clock, or set up a challenge wherein the employee who volunteers the most hours in one month wins a prize. Behavioral support is just as beneficial as a financial contribution!

Buy from Neighboring Small Businesses

Giving back to the community doesn’t have to mean volunteering or even doing any charity work at all (although, we do encourage that whenever possible). Another way you can give back is by supporting other small business owners! As we all know, owning a small business can be tough – especially if you’re competing with big, corporate organizations. When you buy local, leave reviews, or link to other small businesses on your website, you help give them a leg up.

Bonus: Investing in the Community is Also Good for YOUR Business

In addition to all the feel-good vibes, giving back benefits your bottom line. From charitable deductions to getting more eyes on your products, it can generate revenue in a number of ways.