IS CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS?

Small town business owner

Written by Merit

June 23, 2021

Mackenzie Scott (Jeff Bezos´ex) can donate billions to U.S. non-profits and receive national mega-attention and goodwill. She prefers the focus to be on community-focused non-profits and infrastructure organizations supporting them, rather than on her, however. The local organizations are “powerful catalysts and multipliers” for systemic change towards greater equity. [1]

You already are supporting local non-profits, right?

Business owners like you, across the U.S. have for decades supported local non-profits. You contribute to the well-being and equity-balancing in your community. You are practicing corporate social responsibility. You offer product, services, space, volunteers, or your own time through board expertise, and fundraising and event committee participation etc.  

No exact data exists on the value of how much businesses contribute to non-profits, but it is obviously huge on national scale.

Just consider the estimated total monetary value the Essex County Habitat for Humanity in Massachusetts received from local companies in FY 2020-2021 – 620 000 USD.  (Gifts-In-Kind 171K, corporate volunteer time at a value of 470K, and straight corporate monetary donations 179K) . This is just ONE non-profit. There are 1,5 million non-profits in the U.S., some small, with annual budgets under 500K, some really large.

Now consider the total value that is shifted from businesses to non-profits. Likely the the tune of 930 billion USD (if I did my zeros right). Huge nevertheless. Bob Roetger, Director of Institutional Giving at the Essex Country Habitat for Humanity, agrees: “There is simply no way we could accomplish what we have been accomplishing without the generosity of local businesses, helping build homes for those who struggle with housing in our area.”

Huge kudos to all businesses that support the local non-profits, like you and your business. What are you getting in return?

I think that feel-good isn’t enough. You should be getting local recognition and goodwill for your contributions. You deserve visibility in the community.  I was the small business owner in a town north of Boston pictured above, and recognized that visibility for my community donations was important for my business and learned why this is important.

HERE IS WHY:

 According to a recent study by Clutch[2], 68% of those surveyed thought that giving back to the local community is an important company attribute.

Consider also that  according to a study by Fidelity Charitable[3], millennials — individuals born between 1981 and 2000, — are more likely to embrace these new forms of giving back. While half of donors reported making a purchase from a socially-responsible business, two-thirds of Millennials did so. The one in five donors (20%) who have considered social or environmental implications when making investments is outstripped by the 43% of Millennials who make these considerations. Millenials are your future (and perhaps current) customers!

Thoughtfully executed corporate social responsibility is just as important for a local mom & pop-as it is to the big donors and corporations. And to be recognized for it. More about that in my next blog.

About the author:

Merit Kuusniemi is the Founder and CEO of Ansio Global Goods Ltd. dba MyTownDoesGood.com connecting nonprofits and businesses for community good. Merit has decades of nonprofit engagement and entrepreneurial business experience in the U.S. She is now a startup entrepreneur based in Finland, a startup angel, advisor and board professional.  Sign up to learn more about MyTownDoesGood.com

Keywords:  fundraising, cause marketing, community, community-centered service, equity, corporate social responsibility, SDG, ESG, CSR


[1] https://mackenzie-scott.medium.com/seeding-by-ceding-ea6de642bf

[2] Clutch 2019 PR and Corporate Social Responsibility Survey

[3] https://bit.ly/3gXl8pP

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