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5 Ways Your Small Business Can Give Back This Thanksgiving

By Barbara Beauregard   |    October 28, 2019   |    1:42 PM

Give Thanks to Your Community, and Your Company’s Employees, This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is about so much more than all-you-can-eat feasts (though food is a great reason to celebrate.) It’s also a reminder to actively celebrate everything we have to be grateful for, both personally and professionally.

On the professional side, consider trying one of these 5 ways to give back as a small business owner. Some of the ideas will demonstrate how grateful you are for the community that’s allowed your business to thrive. Others are meant to show your company’s most important assets, it’s employees, how much their contributions are valued.

1. Host a company-wide food drive

A food drive is an easy and straightforward way to make an impact. Ask everyone to bring in non-perishable food that can be used to make a delicious meal. You can even turn it into a competition if that would spur your team into action. 

But first, find a charity to donate to —  many communities have non-profits working hard to make sure residents can enjoy a good holiday meal. You can find nearby organizations by contacting local food banks and other charities. 

2. Spend a day volunteering in the community

Volunteering is a great way to give back while building camaraderie amongst your team. You could volunteer at a local soup kitchen or food bank, or any other organization whose mission resonates with your employees. 

You don’t want to make people volunteer with the company on their time off — all company-sponsored volunteer events should pay employees for their time. 

3. Give thanks to the people who keep your company afloat

Once your company gets to a certain size, you’ll likely have employees who make running the business possible. Giving back to these people is the hallmark of a dedicated company. 

The gesture doesn’t have to be grand, but the best employers weave employee appreciation into the fabric of their company’s culture. If you’re looking for new and creative ways to show appreciation for your team members, bookmark this list: 10 Ideas to Make Your Employees Feel Appreciated.

If you’re a solopreneur who outsources projects to contractors, you can still give thanks to your team. Even a quick thank you card or email is a nice gesture that will be appreciated. 

4. Give a charity stipend to each employees

If there’s room in your budget, give people a stipend to donate to their favorite non-profit. This takes the focus of philanthropy off of the company and empowers your team to support causes they value. 

With any luck, they’ll continue to support worthy causes all year long.

5. Participate in #GivingTuesday

This annual event is celebrated on the Tuesday following Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Many people splurge on holiday shopping after Thanksgiving, but #GivingTuesday encourages us to use our dollars differently.

At the office, you could collect donations for a specific non-profit. If you’re able, have the company match employee donations. The movement’s website even includes a toolkit you can use to get started, which makes planning a lot easier.