25 Businesses that give back to the community to inspire your social responsibility

October 30, 2020

Businesses that give back to the community

Winston Churchill once said that “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” 

He was right.

Business owners as well as employees make a living by keeping the business profitable. But it is only when they give back to the community that they make their work truly meaningful. By making other people’s lives better they get more than any bank account can hold.

Even the businesses giving back to the community for the sake of marketing are better than the ones that don’t.

Jump directly to: 

 1. Support people undergoing cancer treatments

 2. Organise a virtual TED-Talk-style fundraiser

 3. Make others pay in donations to pick your brain

 4. Encourage employees to volunteer 

 5. Kindness is a language everyone understands  

 6. Reward the community heroes

 7. Donations to the most caring organisations

 8. Donate one mask for each purchase

 9. Support minority-owned businesses

 10. Financially support low-income entrepreneurs

 11. Raise funds to make other people’s lives better

 12. Feed the hungry together with your employees

 13. Make giving back part of your brand

 14. Offer your skills for free to those in need

 15. Fuel up health care workers with delicious pizza

 16. Free products to those on the front lines

 17. Equal housing chance to the underprivileged

 18. Encourage fundraising attendees to be generous

 19. Offer help to turn business ideas into reality

 20. Collect donations for women’s shelters

 21. Set internet for underprivileged families

 22. Instead of spending on advertising, donate

 23. Show your love and support to the elders

 24. Years long dedication to help homeless people

25 Businesses that give back in extraordinary ways

There’s an immense number of community involvement ideas for businesses and being not profitable enough to give back is simply not an excuse. As you can see from the list below, there are many examples of businesses giving back to the community that don’t involve money.

Quote Denzel Washington

Support people undergoing cancer treatments

We have always given back to our community in multiple ways – we clean for local non-profits for free, we offer 2 free cleanings to anyone in the community going through treatment for cancer, we donate gift certificates to every local silent auction that asks (an average of 40 $200 gift certificates per year), and most recently we ran a Hometown Heroes giveaway over the summer, in which we gave away $30,000 worth of free cleanings to front line medical workers during the first several months of COVID-19. 

As a former foster child and then homeless young adult, it is extremely important to me to give back to the community that has supported my success. Our cancer cleanings are now also extremely close to my heart since my daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia last year, and I’ve been able to see firsthand how critical cleaning is to oncology families.

Laura, Founder of All Star Cleaning Services

Organise a virtual TED-Talk-style fundraiser

When thinking of examples of businesses giving back to the community, there are the obvious ones of donating money or offering time to help organizations that are doing great things for those affected. Although it is important to help in any way possible, I think there are so many other creative ways to give back. As a businessman and entrepreneur, I can offer lots of knowledge from my experiences in the business world. 

Organizing a virtual ted-talk-style fundraiser where the audience comes to learn and gets to leave motivated and inspired is a valuable and creative way to give back. Having the virtual attendees donate money to an organization of choice or even have business owners that have been poorly affected by the pandemic join in to hear other business owners and experts advise on how to survive through these tough times. Putting on such an event would take minimum investment, would allow everyone to stay safe, and would have the potential to help so many people.

Brandon Monaghan, Co-Founder of Miracle Brand

Make others pay in donations to pick your brain

A way to creatively raise money to donate to communities suffering the most through the pandemic is offering my knowledge as a business owner and expert in the digital marketing space. Sending an email blast once a week with an option to uncover a lesson or tip at how to improve a business’s digital marketing presence by placing a donation to a chosen organization. 

I think this idea is a win for everyone involved; I get to share my knowledge, donators learn useful information that they can apply directly to their business and their money goes to the people needing it the most right now.

Jon Zacharias, CEO and Founder of The Search Guy 

Encourage employees to volunteer and pay them for it

A philanthropy initiative that we offer at Boundery to all of our employees is encouraging each individual to spend 3 workdays out of the quarter to volunteer at a charity or organization of their choice whilst being fully compensated. This initiative allows employees to choose where they would like to allocate their volunteer hours and spreads awareness of new charities and organizations within our offices. 

Separately from Boundery, my wife and I work closely with the organization Casa de Amparo, which has a mission to help kids affected or at risk of child abuse and neglect. With the current state of our country due to the pandemic, we have been very active by connecting colleagues and business owners that might have extra resources to donate to the charity. We are reaching out to all of our connections because the kids desperately require all basic supplies. Connecting people and utilizing your network might seem like a small action to take but sometimes is most impactful.

Jason Akatiff, Co-Founder of Boundery

Kindness is a language everyone understands

At TransPerfect, the global translations company headquartered in New York, at the beginning of the outbreak of COVID-19, Phil Shawe, CEO, assembled a taskforce that worked day and night, and was responsible for turning around pro-bono translation services for the city of New York (sometimes within crunch periods like two hours after receiving a document). The taskforce was essential in translating crucial information into over 30 different languages.

This quick-turn-around high-level emergency work had the taskforce translating a range of documents including:

  • Airport guidelines for quarantine and for people arriving to NYC
  • Anti-eviction informational newsletters to various communities who might have landlords looking to take advantage of the COVID-19 situation
  • Directions for how to use various work-from-home technology and apps
  • Alerts for various apps that deliver push-notification news
  • Community news alerts for various minorities living in New York who might not speak Spanish, English, Mandarin, or Russian

Languages included: Arabic, Bengali, Tibetan, Greek, Spanish, Dari, Farsi, French, Hebrew, Hindi, Haitian Creole, Indonesian, Igbo, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Nepali, Punjabi (India), Punjabi (Pakistan), Polish, Portuguese (Brazil and Portugal), Pashto, Russian, Tagalog, Urdu, Vietnamese, Yiddish, Yoruba, Chinese (China), Chinese (Hong Kong), Chinese (Taiwan).

Phil Shawe, President & CEO of TransPerfect

Reward the community heroes

We have done three projects to give back since the start of the pandemic.

The first project was a smaller scale, paying $200 to a locally owned coffee shop to cover five dollars of 40 orders for that day. We created a small business card-sized positive message saying we are all in this together and to enjoy their gift from the granite and marble depot.

The next project we did was asking the community to nominate a local teacher who was going above and beyond while working remotely and teaching their students virtually. We got tons of nominations from the community and decided on one winner. The owner of granite and marble depot and myself met with the teacher at a locally owned food establishment, where they covered the cost of the entire dinner for the teacher’s family.

The final and most exciting project was donating five granite countertops to local heroes regardless of their position. We were in a two-month campaign asking the community to nominate local heroes from grocery store workers to first responders. We selected five winners and are just in the works of selections and installing the completely cost covered granite countertops.

Kylie Knur, Project Manager at JJR Marketing

Weekly donations to the most caring organisations

We started a “Take Charge for Charity” program where a weekly donation is given to a local charity chosen by staff members. These organizations represent the best of our community, those who have dedicated their lives to feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and supporting the vulnerable. We wanted to do our part to give back to those most in need, and these donations seemed like the perfect way to do just that. 

We’ve now reached our 120th consecutive week of donations!

Monica Eaton-Cardone, Co-Founder and COO of Chargebacks911

Donate one mask for each purchase

In lieu of COVID-19, we’ve pivoted away from music festival fashion and started designing face masks. For each mask that is purchased, we will be donating one non-printed face mask to nonprofits supporting those on the front lines. So far, we’ve sold over 75,000 masks and are excited to help anyone we can! In fact, we just donated 10,000 masks to Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center – San Pedro! 

Here are the organizations we’ve donated masks to so far:

– Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center, San Pedro

– Lompoc Valley Medical Center

– Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast

– The Bridge Fund of New York Inc.

– Baltimore Donation Hub

– Gold In Fight

– REACH Air Medical Services

– Chinatown Service Center

Brandon Chopp, Digital Manager at iHeartRaves

Support minority-owned businesses

One of the ways my business initiated giving back to my community was by creating The Mississippi Gulf Coast Black Owned Business Network as well as the creation of an annual MSGCBOB Awards. Being that I owned an African + Hawaiian Infused brand I found it hard to locate my ideal client. I felt like if I had that issue, so did other black-owned businesses. Therefore I created a group where local BOB’s and consumers could find and do business with each other. 

We also host networking events, Melanin Village Market Places, and our annual awards ceremony celebrating small businesses in the area. When Black Panther was being released, I bought out the theatre for Black-Owned Businesses and their families to experience what Black excellence looks like.

Alexis L. Williams, Owner of Aloha Glamour

Financially support low-income entrepreneurs

I’ve always had the will to help the community. However, it usually involved giving my time and not money. Now that I’ve been in this industry for 15 years, giving back has become a part of our company culture. 

We do community outreach as a part of our annual Thrive Camp – an event where we bring in our employees from around the world to our Texas headquarters to do local volunteer work. We have also partnered with Kiva, a non-profit organization aiming to help low-income entrepreneurs in more than 80 countries. We give monetary help to those striving entrepreneurs to maximize their potential, including farmers or women in Africa selling goods. 

I believe that when you are at a point where you’ve gotten so much, it’s that chance you have to give back to people – to get them to the same place as you are.

Matt Bowman, President at Thrive Agency

Raise funds to make other people’s lives better

I strongly believe in helping my community. Last year, I taught a series of free marketing workshops to teach local small business owners about free ways they could use online marketing to attract more customers, in conjunction with the local city government.

As part of Progreso Relief, an informal group of people who came together to help the community, we raised funds and fed over 1,200 families suffering from the loss of income in our city when COVID hit. We provided packages of food, sourced through local stores to keep more of the money in the community, and delivered them following strict safety protocols, supervised by a retired nurse, to needy families and individuals. Donations came from Mexico, the US and Canada.

When tropical storm Cristobal hit the area and flooded many homes, we again raised funds and worked with local restaurants to provide meals to over 400 people while they were staying in temporary shelters, and then used the remainder of the funds raised to provide gift certificates through a locally-owned hardware store to help people purchase materials and tools to repair the flood damage to their homes.

I was the first president of the Merida English Rotary Club, the first English-language Rotary Club in the state of Yucatan, Mexico, and spearheaded a project to put computers in the computer labs in Progreso, Yucatan, where they currently have no computers for the students to share. That’s right, zero computers in computer labs in 2020! Teachers currently bring their own laptops and teach the students via projector, which is really no way to learn computer skills effectively.

David B. Wright, President of W3 Group Marketing

Feed the hungry together with your employees

At the beginning of the first-quarter every year, we get our team together, and we go to a place in Plano called Feed My Starving Children. The whole company is there, and we’re packing food for children across the world. Then after we pack, they show the impact that we have had and we pay for the food. It is our best event of the year.

Gabe Abshire,  CEO of Utility Concierge

Make giving back part of your brand

As an apparel brand focused on supporting expectant and postpartum mothers, we prioritize investment back into organizations that are advocating for a stronger village of support for mothers.

We donate at least 3% of profits to advocate for better infrastructure support and maternal health programs.

– 1% global – to combat the global maternal health crisis

– 1% local – to provide local support and resources for new mothers (first-time and experienced) suffering from anxiety or depression related to a postpartum mood disorder

– 1% sustainable – to advocate for high quality paid family leave for all

Selah Rhodes, Founder/CEO of DARITY

Offer your skills for free to those in need

Especially due to the pandemic, a polished online presence is more essential than ever in business. That includes having a website that’s optimized to get positive results.

Yet, not all business owners are marketing experts so achieving that professional online presence is challenging.

To help business owners in that position, I’m offering value-packed website audits at no cost and with no obligation. These are done manually by me, a professional SEO copywriter and brand strategist.

The audit reports contain expert recommendations on everything from the quality of website copy to SEO to branding to overall UX. They pinpoint exactly what improvements need to be made so that business owners can either make the changes themselves or have an objective game plan if they choose to hire a professional to help.

Nia Gyant, Founder of http://niagyant.com/

Fuel up health care workers with delicious pizza

At Donatos, we believe in giving back in every community that we serve. In fact, it’s a simple matter of living out the Latin meaning of our name – to give a good thing. During the COVID crisis, we’ve given hundreds of pizzas to front line health care workers as well as volunteers at community food banks who are working harder than ever. And this is in addition to all of our normal philanthropic activities.

Dave Parsons, Manager, PR & Communications at Donatos Pizza

Offer your products for free to those on the front lines

We are a brand who wants to help people live healthy, fit lives, and now more than ever this is so important, especially for our front line workers. They are working incredibly long and stressful hours and as a brand, wanted to support them with healthy energy. We launched CELSIUS Giveback, a giveback initiative with product drops at firehouses and hospitals for those on the front lines around the country. 

Additionally, CELSIUS is offering first responders and healthcare workers a case of product if they DM the CELSIUS Instagram page @celsiusofficial with proof of their ID. The brand has dropped off over 7k cases of product.

John Fieldly, CEO at Celsius Holdings Inc

I am Dr. Paris Sabo, a breast cancer surgeon in Beverly Hills. I co-found Dr. Brite in 2015 with my sister, Dr. Pooneh Ramezani. With my chemistry background, I am responsible for creating the formulations for Dr. Brite’s safest and most effective essential cleaning products.

As a BIPOC women-owned and certified B-Corp company, we have been using our business as a force for change and social good in our community for years. During the pandemic, we have been making our great sanitizing and cleaning products available to first responders, doctors, and nurses on COVID-19 frontlines, nonprofits, and to those in need both on a local and national level. 

All you have to do is reach out to us at team@drbrite.com if you are a frontline hero, a nonprofit, or someone in need, and we will be able to help you.

Dr. Paris Sabo, MD, COO at Dr. Brite 

Give equal housing opportunities to the underprivileged

At Logsdon Home Buyers LLC we support our community by purchasing vacant properties and using them to advocate for “second chance homeownership” by providing homeownership opportunities to those who would otherwise be denied by traditional lenders because of rough financial history (foreclosure, bankruptcy..)

We do this because vacant properties become a habitat for criminal mischief and lower the property value of surrounding homes. We believe that homeownership has many positive impacts in our community relating to mental/physical health, our youth, and participation in civic duties such as voting.

We believe that it’s unfair to deny a family the opportunity to turn a house into a home based solely on their past financial hardship without making an attempt to fully understand their current financial position.

Paul Logsdon, Founder of Logsdon Home Buyers

Encourage attendees of fundraising events to open their wallets

Being in the bartending business for over 28 years, we have been supporting our local charities and community by offering our services free of charge so they may have a successful fundraising campaign.

We donate the bartender(s), alcohol, beer, wine and all the mixers so they can keep their costs down. We also assist in getting their Series 15 Special Event License for the event since it has to be submitted to the city and state for approval. Having alcohol served is always good for the auctions.

We have worked with some of the biggest charities in AZ and enjoy seeing them succeed.

Dave Forman, President at Pour Masters

Bring the community together to help turn business ideas into reality

I’m Tonya Cross, the accessory designer of Accented Glory and visionary of The Vine Events. The Vine Events is my non-profit organization that hosts informative events such as personal development and small businesses workshops. I’m the facilitator of these events.

Through my organization, I spearheaded the Salisbury-Rowan Black Business Pitch Contest. As an entrepreneur, I personally know the struggles of finding funding and resources to build and grow your business. Therefore, I reached out to local black business owners and asked them to sow monies into the pitch winner and to be pitch judges. Also, I asked other black businesses to provide business services to the pitch winner. 

Within 24 hours I received verbal commitments for both monetary and service packages for the pitch winner. The response was so overwhelming that my pitch committee was able to award service packages to 2nd and 3rd place winners as well. The pitch contest audience was also able to participate and vote for their favorite pitch! It was truly a collective effort and a great way to bring our community together and sow into a local black owned business.

Tonya Cross, Accessory Designer at Accented Glory

Quote by Anne Frank

Collect donations for women’s shelters

My employees and I have been collecting donations. I ran a collection over social media (among personal connections) for a women’s shelter, asking people to leave donations of diapers, bottles, formula, feminine products, and bath products in a bin placed on my doorstep and a handful of my team’s doorsteps placed around the city. 

For the public, I set up three different donation day/time slots they could drop off sites at the office. After two weeks, I collected all the donations and dropped them off at the shelter, along with a check from the company. We duplicated this with a food bank and a veteran center. All were contact-free, which made people feel safe and gave them a chance to contribute. 

Laura Fuentes, Operator of Infinity Dish

Set internet for underprivileged families

Our company helps people find internet providers, so we set up connections and upgrades for people all the time. The pandemic has actually been unexpectedly good to us, because with so many people at some, their internet use went way up. We had a 15% increase in customers and revenue, so we’re very pleased, so we wanted to pay it forward. 

So, whenever we can, we set up underprivileged families with internet for free. It’s just our way to pay it forward and thank our community for supporting us. 

Sean Nguyen, Director of Internet Advisor 

Instead of spending on advertising, donate

At DigitalGrads we donate to youth charities for every referral we receive. Rather than feathering the nests of Facebook and Google with advertising pounds, we’d much rather donate that money to charity.

We support youth charities because we know not all young people get an equal chance in life, and our mission is to make hiring about skills and talent not about who you know or bank of mum and dad – we want our candidates to have an equal shot at working in the tech and media industries.

We partner with Work for Good to help facilitate our donations.

Lucy Smith, Founder & CEO of DigitalGrads

Show your love and support to the elders

We would volunteer at Willing Hearts to prepare food ingredients for the elders, like cutting vegetables and meat, packing the cooked food, delivering, and giving out for the needy. There are designated chefs cooking, so we focus on other areas. These are prepared for over 5 thousand elders and those in need, who will be receiving the meal on weekends.

The reason why we are volunteering is that we want to appreciate these elders who gave their best to build Singapore over 40 years ago. So by helping them save a meal or two weekly we help to ease their finances as well.

Cyrus Yung, Director of Ascelade

Years long dedication to help homeless people

When I was working at a gym under the Twitter building in San Francisco, I saw Warren Buffet a few times when he came to volunteer. One year I got to meet him with the crowd out on the street. This man is one of the richest men in the world, but despite that, it was so inspiring to see how comfortable he still is giving back to people. He could be on an eternal vacation but he’s volunteering and having conversations with average people. 

Getting to experience his warmth and see how much he prioritizes his volunteer work has inspired me to continue serving dinners to the homeless and volunteering with the Sunday Streets mission without fail for many years now. No matter how successful I become, my family, my companies, and I will always give back to the most vulnerable in our community.

Nerissa Zhang, CEO at The Bright App

Conclusion

Looking at these businesses that give back is impossible not to feel inspired. Their selfless social responsibility proves that community involvement ideas for businesses are not limited to donating money.

The businesses giving back to the community are most often the smallest local businesses in our communities and not the large corporations. That’s because the businesses that give back have big hearts but not necessarily deep pockets.

You can be a one-man band, and still, help more than a company employing 1000 staff does.

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