This is a guest post courtesy of Shannon Squires of Shannon Squires Photography
When I was little I remember going to the church on a weekday with my mom. When we parked out front, I saw my mom get out of the car and she handed something to someone as they poked their head out the door. I don’t remember what it was exactly (food probably). When she returned to the car, I remember asking her about it and having a conversation about giving, volunteering, and how important it all was.
Her words lingered with me for all of these years. I carried them always at the forefront of my mind into high school as I planned and organized fundraisers as class president. I carried them into my college when I would randomly buy coffee for someone homeless on the street.
We all know that it is good to give back, and be kind in our personal lives, but what about as a business? Does your business have a charitable focus? If not, it should. Here are 6 reasons why.
1. It focuses your charitable direction
How often has your business be asked to give, donate money, or donate your time for other causes? Maybe an auction gift card for the local basketball team or PTA, or possibly donating you time photographing a charity event. Think about this for a minute. How many of those times did you dread doing it? Maybe you thought “I don’t even like basketball, or “I have donated so much already to other things, but I can’t say no to this cause either.”? Have you considered picking one charitable focus and staying in that lane? Breast cancer awareness, homelessness…. Pick a cause and focus on that. Make it relevant to your business. For instance, if you are a sports photographer you can focus on helping fund youth sports in low-income communities. Focusing on one cause allows you to budget for that cause yearly and say no to causes that may not fall in line with where your passion for giving is. It is ok to have direction and say NO.
2. People support businesses that support the community
I know we all don’t live in a small town, but even in a big city like mine, you can form a sense of community. When I moved here to Colorado, I wanted to establish my name here, but also let people know that I was a family-friendly and giving business. How did I do that? I set up a canned food drive on Halloween in my neighborhood. I did photos of kids in costume in exchange for canned goods that I took to a local food pantry. The response was wonderful. It got my name out there and I was able to start “feeding” into my new community. No pun intended 😉 It was ultimately effortless marketing.
3. Giving to charities in the community helps form connections in your area with like-minded businesses and potential clients
Like-minded people tend to gravitate to each other. While volunteering or connecting with charities you meet the most amazing new friends, clients, and business connections. You can never have too many connections in your area. This is just one way to create a footprint in your community that gives you and your business a good name.
4. It’s a tax write off
It’s not about that of course but it certainly does not hurt come tax season.
5. People support businesses that support the community
It opens up other opportunities to give in small ways. It doesn’t always have to be grand food drives or relay walks. Simply feeding into smaller charities that can benefit your business is good too. For example, buying ad add in a team roster. You give, but you also get the exposure. It’s a win-win and parents (a.k.a potential clients) appreciate it.
6. It’s good for the heart, good for the mind
It’s just GOOD. Good for the heart, good for the mind. What you get ends up being more than what you give. Don’t ask me how. It simply makes your heart happy.
So, get out and find that charitable focus for your business, and start giving to your community. The rewards come back 10-fold. But don’t just “do it”. Do it and mean it! Find a cause that breaks your heart, pushes you to tears, and lights a fire in your actions. Find your passion in giving and it will truly change your business in the best way possible.
Want to learn how you can help charity AND help your photography business? This year me and Summerana are partnering up with 5DayDeal, who focuses on bringing creators in the photography industry, to other creatives ultimately to help raise support for charities nationally and abroad. If you are a Photographer, you have to go look. You can NOT beat this year’s Complete 2020 Photography Bundle for a Cause.
You get incredible amounts of education in any area of photography you could possibly want to learn more in. Drone photography, landscape photography, newborn wrapping techniques, Lightroom presets, and much more. The best part? This is all for charity. There are multiple charities that this bundle will benefit Make-A-Wish America, and Mercy Ships to name a couple.