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Keeping Charitable Gifts Local Really Hits Home

By Deanne Katz, Esq. | Last updated on

Charitable giving is commendable, and as a small business owner with local clientele, it can get you more than just good will.

Sure there are some tax benefits, but for a business that's also part of a community, giving back to a local group or charity can come with rewards that keep on giving throughout the year.

There are many ways, and many benefits, to keeping your donations closer to home. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Before you commit your dollars to a good cause, consider how it fits into your business goals. Pick charitable organizations that help people within your customer base, or that provide funding for causes that are close to your business plan. That makes it more likely your donation will appeal to your clients and may help bring new ones in the door.

There's nothing wrong with using charitable giving as a marketing tool if you really are doing something to help your community. Make sure people know about your gift by posting a press release on your website. If you receive a plaque or certificate in recognition, hang it up where people can see. Be proud of the difference you're making in your community, and your clients will be too.

As mentioned above, behind the scenes you can also reap the benefits of charitable donations. Keep good records, and make sure your tax attorney knows about your giving so that you can get a tax deduction for it.

Energizing your employees through a donation drive can boost your staff's spirits, as well as your bottom line. Set up a friendly contest and reward employees who reach certain donation milestones.

Donating time instead of money is another option, and can also make for a good team-building exercise. Offer employees the opportunity to volunteer at a local soup kitchen or deliver meals as part of a company outing.

Your reputation in a community isn't limited to your customer service. Making a name for yourself as a charitable partner is worth more than just karma.

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