Corporate Social Responsibility Ideas for Small Businesses
As millennials become the largest audience in the consumer market, their buying decisions have almost all of the purchasing power and guide corporations to make very specific strategic decisions. Millennials care more about purpose, ethics, and making a difference than they do about the price of a product. Most of the time they’ll spend more on a product when a company has clearly shown how the purchase of that product makes a difference in the greater world.
Being aligned in your purpose as a business and effectively messaging that purpose along with a powerful story around making an impact draws millennials toward your brand. Here are some corporate social responsibility ideas that are easy to implement within a small-scale business model all-the-while allowing for growth.
Buy One, Give One
With a physical product, a “Buy One, Give One” model has the potential to align well. Take for example TOMS. This is a company that saw a social issue and wanted to utilize their product to solve it. TOMS tend to be a bit more expensive, but when a pair of TOMS is purchased, a pair is also sent to a child in need.
Overall, TOMS has made volunteering and community impact a huge part of its mission and corporate lifestyle. Every employee is encouraged to volunteer in their local community, while they are also given the opportunity to go on one of their trips to deliver shoes to different communities.
There are other companies that have implemented a model like this as well. Check out Warby Parker, SoapBox, Out of Print, and Smile Squared.
Some of the above examples are large corporations, but some of them are much smaller meaning the business model they have is more transferrable over to a smaller business. However, keep in mind that the giants like Warby Parker and TOMS were once upon a time small businesses, too!
Percentage of Proceeds
If there is a cause that you feel deeply passionate about and it in some way relates to your business/brand, this would be a great thing to link up to your messaging and support through your business.
A few examples of companies already doing this: Elephant Pants, Bravelets, and Sand Cloud.
These companies have identified an issue that they want their brand to support and then a percentage of each sale that is made is donated in support of that cause. These companies have each supported their causes with thousands of dollars of donations. They’ve utilized this powerful tool to resonate with a group of people eager to support a cause, which makes them feel good and makes their consumer feel good!
Gift Wrapping for Charity
There are many companies that offer gift wrapping services to their customers. This is a great way to entice people to buy and they make sure that the presentation of their chosen gift is impeccable. One option to consider is adding a gift wrapping option that benefits a charity.
This is a great thing to do if you have a charity that you are really passionate about, but it may not necessarily align well with your overall brand or product. When prompted to add on a gift wrapping service, the messaging can include information about to proceeds of the gift wrapping going to support that chose charity.
Information on how to start a gift wrapping service can be found here.
With the scientifically proven environmental changes that have taken place in recent years due to global warming, there is a movement happening around environmental support. Verifying that the production of a product leaves the smallest environmental impact can help message a brand.
The millennial generation is becoming more cognizant of their impact on the environment or even makes purchases that help the environment. As a company analyzes their impact on the environment provides an opportunity to utilize their product production process in their sales messaging to engage this new movement and help the environment as they change or start out.
An example of a company that is promoting their environmental consciousness is Wanderer Bracelets.
Know any brands implementing these strategies that aren’t mentioned here? Share them with us!
Which of these strategies are you most excited to implement?