Owning a small business allows you to effect change on numerous levels. For many of us, it’s one of the reasons we started a business in the first place.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, why not leverage your company, your network, and your time to lend a hand to those who’ve been put out by this disaster?
Here are four ways your small business can provide immediate relief:
1. Give blood. The American Red Cross, which had to cancel some 325 blood drives in 13 states and D.C. because of the storm, is short more than 11,000 blood donations so far. Officials are asking volunteers nationwide for immediate donations of blood and platelets in order to support the needs of Hurricane Sandy victims. You and your staff can make appointments online. Additionally, the New York Blood Center is accepting donations for affected residents of New York and New Jersey.
2. Donate money. Although the Red Cross is the highest-profile relief agency, it isn’t the only organization that needs donations. The Salvation Army, Save the Children, World Vision, the Humane Society, and American Humane Association are all doing their parts to provide immediate relief to people (and pets) in need post-Sandy.
3. Recruit others. Use email and social media to let your customers and partners know about your efforts — and ask them to join you. Consider donating a portion of your proceeds to relief efforts and offering product or service discounts those in need of assistance. Your actions will not only lend a hand to Sandy victims, but also engage your customers, bolster customer loyalty, and position your business as one that cares about its community and others.
4. Adopt a local charity. Beyond Sandy, talk with your employees about committing to an ongoing effort locally as a company. Soliciting their input gives you greater perspective and aligns viewpoints. Donating to a local cause that everyone supports ensures that you’re making a real difference in your community and connecting with your employees, the people who keep your business going.
What is your small business doing to support Sandy relief efforts? Share your story with other entrepreneurs in the Comments section below.