4 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Support Their Customers and Community in Testing Times
As we fight a universal calamity, let's use our platforms for generosity however we can.
Albert Einstein once said, "The value of a person resides in what they give and not in what they are capable of receiving." It's one of those statements that lies incredibly close to my heart because, from my personal experience, being generous has made me a better person and helped me through my darkest phases. While our planet fights one of its worst pandemics in modern times, organizations like Facebook are coming forward to help small businesses.
Generosity creates its momentum, whether for individuals, entrepreneurs or organizations. A campaign on social media that has caught my attention lately is the #BeGenerous project by Kris Lindahl. Both the initiative and a recent interview with Lindahl inspired me to share four ways we can use our platforms to be more generous as entrepreneurs and give back to the community when it needs our help most.
Related: The Importance of Being Generous
At times like these, when virtually the entire world is under a state of lockdown and we are staring into the eyes of a global economic crisis, it is crucial to support those around us. Lindahl shares that giveaways on social media platforms are a great way to spread generosity. He gives the example of a Free Gift Card Giveaway he created recently to support small local businesses on Instagram. The random winners of the giveaway get a gift card to shop from their favorite local small business. "Giveaways create a win-win situation for both the shopper as well as the shop," he adds.
Join a Nonprofit
More and more organizations are waking up to the fact that employees are hungering for a real sense of purpose in the workplace. Apple, for instance, matches up to $25 per hour for the time that employees spend doing nonprofit work. And then you have companies like McDonald's, which supports the communities it serves through inspiring programs such as the Ronald McDonald House Charities and the RMHC/HACER National Scholarships.
Lindahl shares that he collaborated with a nonprofit to match $2,500 in donations, which will help feed more than 600 children who depend on schools, and I second the imperative to actively join a cause you support.
Create an Awareness Campaign
Leverage social media and use the power of hashtags to gain traction for your cause. In my case, I created The Wishwall campaign with a #givedreamsachance hashtag, and I could see people stepping up to fulfill those dreams for the underprivileged and the needy. When we see others exhibit influence, we seek to emulate it, and generosity is no different.
As part of spearheading Be Generous, Lindahl randomly distributes shirts bearing the campaign's name, and he shares that people often have come back to him and said, "I can't be wearing this shirt and not be a good human being." It is, as he tells it, like putting on a uniform and living a code.
Any entrepreneurs can create similar awareness campaigns to further their cause and get more people on board.
Embrace Generosity as Priceless
Lindahl also remarks that, "Generosity is more than writing a check. It's more about donating our time, talents and treasures. It also means promoting a volunteer work culture whenever you can."
I've seen this play out in my own experience. When I get involved with charity campaigns, donate my time to listen to others and inspire them, it helps me in turn understand my own struggles and changes my perspective on life. I strongly feel that once you open up to others, it gives you immense strength and happiness.
Generosity energizes, excites and engages. An act of kindness can be as simple as sparing 10 minutes of your day and taking the time to talk to someone or buying someone down on their luck a coffee or a bite to eat. And these small acts can make you happier than anything else on a given day. Generous people are often happier people, and happy people are the most successful.
Entrepreneurs, influencers and organizations must come forward and show their generous side by helping those in need. It's our responsibility to utilize our platforms where our voices can make a difference in the lives of those around us and make the earth a better place to live in. If you have a voice of influence, you must utilize it to support the less influential. Because, during times like this, it is about humanity, not just business.