Charitable giving and volunteering opportunities can make your business more attractive to prospective employees, boost profits and have a positive impact on the world. If you haven’t already incorporated volunteering and giving back into your business plan, explore approaches that might work for you. Studies have found a correlation between a business’s commitment to corporate social responsibility and its profitability. Typically, tax benefits are also tied to charitable giving.

Use this small business charitable giving guide from U.S. Bank to assess your current charitable giving program and get some ideas for ways to take it to the next level.

1. Establish a solid plan for how to donate to charity

Questions to ask yourself:

If you don’t have an official strategy in place, you may be trying to execute multiple paths of giving. These might include spending time and money, working on volunteer events, and providing sponsorships. If done in an unstructured way, these different activities may dilute your efforts. Crafting an official strategy with an area of focus can improve efficiency. This might even have the added benefit of boosting employee engagement.

2. Determine whether your business could use cause marketing

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you know what cause marketing is?
  • Have you considered whether it would work for your company?
  • Could you use it in an upcoming campaign?

Cause marketing often involves donating a portion of the proceeds from a specific product line to a partner charity. This can be mutually beneficial for your business and the charitable organization or nonprofit. If this system makes sense for your business, think about what charity you’d like to support. Consider finding a cause that aligns with your brand or values. You can create a marketing plan involving donation targets and caps to ensure the program benefits all involved.

3. Find a way for your business to give back to the community

Questions to ask yourself:

You may want to research opportunities for ongoing participation in your community. You can also encourage your employees to give back locally by instituting a policy that gives them time off to volunteer or incentives for doing so. Organizing group volunteer events has been shown to boost company morale, and 89 percent of employees believe businesses that sponsor volunteer events are better places to work.

No matter where you’re at in the process, it’s important to identify how generosity and social responsibility fit into your business. Developing a solid charitable giving strategy can help maximize your impact and potentially boost revenue.

For more information, talk to a business banker at U.S. Bank who can help you sharpen your cash management skills, or visit

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Editor’s note: This article was written by our partners at U.S. Bank.

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