As an entrepreneur, it can be very hard to find time in your schedule to give back.
You’re struggling at a work-life balance, or figuring out the next step to propel you to success. When are you supposed to volunteer? I consider myself both an entrepreneur and a philanthropist, and I have many thoughts on how you can combine the two.
Since I do combine both practices, friends who run small and medium-sized businesses ask me how they can participate in the impact space. Below are five easy ways for you and your team to giving back. Hopefully, you'll make it a regular habit or, better yet, part of your company’s DNA to give back.
Talent. Your expertise and talent are more valuable than your money. Identify a couple impact organizations that you believe in and offer them one hour or one day of your expertise. You might evaluate their business plan, review their finances or help them with business development.
Time. It's a fact, people who volunteer more are generally healthier. Create afternoons or days for your whole team to volunteer together.
There are websites like VolunteerMatch.com that can help identify a local need. Or you can reach out to an organization like Kaboom, Habitat for Humanity or CityYear that rely 100 percent on volunteers to build playgrounds, homes and fix parks.
You will be surprised how much it builds your team moral when you give back to your community.
Partnership. You can help raise awareness for a cause you are passionate about by creating a partnership with your company or with your own life.
Consider donating a month's profits to a cause or creating a product to raise awareness. That will generate funds and lend creditability to the organization. That goes a long way to help, especially for smaller organizations.
Goods. We throw away things every day that someone else could use. Rally your team to bring in their coats, business clothes and electronics to donate to organizations like Dress for Success.
Money. Money is always a way to participate in a philanthropic cause. Big or small, every donation has an impact.
I have two requests. First, there are so many worthy causes out there, I urge you to take some time to explore those that mean something to you personally. Do you care about health? Education? Children? Sanitation? The environment? Whatever it is, it’s important that you connect to it in a meaningful way.
Second, look at smaller organizations.There are many large organizations doing indispensable work but it is harder for regular people like us to grasp the best way for us to plug into an Acumen Fund or a UNICEF.
Instead, I encourage you to reach out the small and medium sized organizations where your talent, goods, money or time will go a whole lot further. The smaller organizations also provide a way for your to see the impact of your do and give. That will motivate you to stay engaged for the long term.