Be a Better Neighbor: 5 Ways Business Owners Can Give Back (And Earn Positive Press)

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Is your company a good neighbor? 

Sure, you’re probably willing to meet basic standards of decency, like keeping noise down after hours and keeping neighboring businesses’ driveways clear. 

But, if you’re being honest, you can surely identify opportunities to do more for the community that’s given you so much. And you don’t have to have a charitable foundation or a bottomless expense account to make a real difference. 

No matter what industry you operate in or where your business is located, these five opportunities for targeted philanthropy or community support can make a real difference in your own backyard. Here’s how to get started. 

1. Host Real-Life Fundraisers For People In Need 

Putting on a GoFundMe is far easier than it should be. Hosting a real-life fundraiser for local people, families, or small businesses in need is much more difficult — and, provided it’s successful, much more rewarding in the long run. 

Use your business’s common space, or rent out a suitable venue nearby, to host a potluck or raffle whose proceeds benefit a cause close to your customer’s hearts. Perhaps it’s an employee in need of major surgery, or a local family adopting a child from overseas, or a kindred business struggling with an unfair boycott — who you support is up to you. 

2. Put Idle Vehicles Into Service for Vulnerable People and Animals 

You can do a lot with your company’s idle vehicles, notes D.C. entrepreneur Alex Perdikis — not least, calling them into service to transport vulnerable people and animals. What better way to show your community you care than to give elderly customers rides to the doctor or help local shelters re-home pets? 

3. Throw Open Your Doors When The Weather Turns Sour 

Bad weather is a great equalizer. You’re fortunate enough to have a roof over your head when the storm approaches — or the heat, or cold, or fire — but not everyone is so lucky. Set aside secure space on your premises to serve as makeshift shelter capacity for locals who can’t make it to (or are turned away from) official shelters. 

4. Commit To Hiring Veterans And The Formerly Incarcerated 

There’s no better way to show that you truly believe everyone deserves a second chance than to hire those re-entering the workforce after incarceration or stints in war zones overseas. Hiring vets, in particular, is a great way to build positive buzz for your business, and you may qualify for tax breaks in the process. 

5. Donate Old Fleet Vehicles To Charity 

Sure, you might squeeze a few hundred bucks out of an old beater by selling it before it goes kaput. But is that really the right way to pay it forward? Anyway, the tax breaks you’ll get for donating your old fleet vehicles to charity might approach your private-sale earnings. Supporting worthy causes and earning valuable write-offs in the process is any entrepreneur’s definition of a win-win situation. 

What Are You Doing to Give Back? 

There’s no one-size-fits-all way to give back to your community. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 

When it comes to philanthropy, all that matters is that you do right by your friends and neighbors — the people who, collectively, have helped you reach whatever measure of success you’ve achieved. Like many business decisions, precisely how and when you share your gifts is a personal matter. Here’s to making it count.


I hope you enjoyed this blog post about how your company can be a better neighbor and improve positive press with business community outreach.

Interested in more articles about running a positive and moral business?

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