How to make Social Responsibility a Part of your Business Plan

Recent research has shown that when given a choice, many customers prefer to use a socially conscious business that gives back to the community. Other surveys have shown that employees enjoy and expect to work for a business that provides them with opportunities to donate and volunteer.

The bottom line is this: Being a socially responsible business could have more of a positive impact than just a tax deduction.


While many businesses choose to go green or pick a favorite charity for annual donations, others regularly incorporate social responsibility within their business model by becoming a Social Enterprise.

(Social Enterprise: an organization that makes money by selling goods and services in the open market but reinvest their profits back into the community to help tackle social problems.)

Want to make some changes but don’t know where to start? Here are five ways to help your business enthusiastically reinvest in your community:

  1. Create a mission of social responsibility. Think of a local problem you’d like to help solve, or a cause that aligns with your business’s goals. You can even start small and consider how your business can aim to be better. For example, are you able to go paperless?

  2. Establish small goals. Many organizations set out to help end world hunger or cure a disease, but some goals may be too much for your small business to do on your own. Decide what you’d like to do, and research how you can work locally to make it happen. Are you interested in helping provide food to those who need it? Work with a nearby food-pantry or soup kitchen to have a direct impact in your community.

  3. Ask your employees. There is a good chance that some of your employees may already volunteer with a charitable or nonprofit organization that can use your help. Seeing which connections you already have can help you take that next step.

  4. Find other like-minded organizations. Is there another business or organization in your community that you admire? Reach out and express that you are interested in partnering or learning from them. Start with your local chamber or business associations to see who is doing what in the community. The more people you have working toward a common goal, the more progress you may see!

  5. Consider charitable awards. Feeling like your business is making a difference and helping others can contribute to a positive work culture while boosting morale and productivity. Some businesses give employees unlimited time off for volunteering or have a bonus program for employees who complete charitable hours or donations.

BBB encourages organizations to give back to the communities who support them. After a little work, you may be surprised by how a small change can make a big difference!

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