Just a little over 3 years ago I lost the best job I ever had. I was making great money, liked the company and the people I worked with (mostly), and even the commute wasn’t bad. But then the Great Recession hit and tough decisions had to be made. I was in the 3rd and final round of layoffs.
I’m not one of those people who always knew I’d be a business owner: I didn’t have the most successful lemonade stand on the block, nor did I find clever ways to outsource my babysitting jobs to younger cheaper labor. Nope, from the age of 12 with my first paper route I always worked for someone else and thought that was just the way it was supposed to be.
Well, getting laid off got me thinking– why NOT start my own business? (Actually I started thinking about it a couple years before I got laid off – but I never thought I’d actually do it ) I had years of valuable and diverse marketing and sales experience, I understood the needs of growing businesses, and although I liked the jobs I’d had, I was never truly satisfied sitting in a cubicle or out selling other people’s stuff that honestly, I was never 100% enthusiastic about. So, thanks to the Great Recession, I had the opportunity to take the plunge- and I never looked back.
I love being my own boss. It has opened up a whole new world to me, in so many different ways, that I could write a book about it (oh wait, I am!). It has given me the excuse and the flexibility to do the things I’ve always wanted to do; give back to my community, volunteer my time…..oh yeah, and take a 3 week trip to Europe!
For me building a business has meant getting out into the community and meeting people, networking, getting involved, offering my expertise, experience, and skills whenever I can to causes and charities I care deeply about (click here to see a list of those in our newsletter ). And for me, this has been the most rewarding part of being a business owner.
Here are 5 Ways Fortune Marketing Company gives back to the community and you can too!
- Raise Money for a non –profit: Non profits are ALWAYS looking for ways to raise money. Devote a day or a week or a month to your favorite charity and donate a portion of sales, or ask customers to make a donation (rounding up a check is a really easy way to do this) and match it!
- Give your company the afternoon off to do volunteer work – Ok, not only is this great for the community, but it’s great team-building for your company. Let your employees decide what cause to support and give them a couple of hours off to go help out – maybe it’s painting a building, or doing landscaping, or cleaning up a park, or stuffing envelopes, or waving signs for a car wash! You can choose a different one each year, or agree as a company to support a specific one .
- Donate to silent auctions- Do a local search of events in your area and you’ll find tons of events by non-profits trying to raise money. Call them and ask if you can donate auction items or even raffle items.
- Do a food, toy, or coat drive – These are very popular around the holidays, but hungry people need food all year round and children’s organizations need supplies all year round. Most people and companies think of giving back around the holidays, find ways to support them during the off-season too when they aren’t getting as many donations!
- Get on a Board of Directors – Talk about rewarding! I am able to offer my marketing skills and expertise to help with the strategic planning and direction of my favorite nonprofit, helping them raise more money now – and well into the future! What skills, experience, or expertise do you have to offer? Find a board that could benefit from those and apply!
And I almost hate to bring it up, but I am a Marketer after all and would be doing you – my loyal readers – a disservice if I didn’t mention this: don’t forget the press releases!!! Although promotion is not our main motivation for giving back, it doesn’t hurt you – or the charity you are helping – to get a little publicity.
These are just a few ways to give back. There are countless others. What cause do you care deeply about? How do you give back? Please tell us by leaving your comments below.
If you aren’t sure how to get started, contact a local charity and find out how you and your company can help.