Around 543,000 businesses are started every month – and even more than this shut down over the same time period. In such a highly competitive space, time is our most precious resource, and money is a close second. Much of our website is based on capitalising on the time we have to boost our business’ bottom line and bolster productivity: but where does giving back to our community and society at large factor into this equation? Here are some ideas to help you contribute to charity and still stay focused on your time management.
GIVE MONEY INTELLIGENTLY
Research shows that spending money on others makes us happier than spending money on ourselves. However, if you want to give back to society but the budget’s tight and time is at a premium, you can lend money instead. Giving to individuals or business owners in need and allowing them to pay you back in small increments can have massively positive effects on a whole community, not just the business owner themselves. Try Lend with Care or a similar scheme to browse through profiles and choose someone to lend to.
We don’t all have the luxury of our time to volunteer like in retirement; those of us who are still fully consumed by our professional development have very limited space in our schedules for day-long volunteering. But even if we’re time-poor, we’re usually expertise-rich. Harness your knowledge and experience to help people who could benefit from them. For example, there are several schemes out there that allow you to mentor entrepreneurs and business owners in developing countries. They’re endeavoring to make a life for themselves with very little in the way of financial or intellectual investment, and could benefit massively from an experienced guide to help them. Normally, these mentor-ship schemes are in the format of Skype calls at regular intervals, sometimes as infrequently as once-monthly for an hour, and can really make a difference to someone in need.
USE YOUR COMPANY AS A PLATFORM
If you have an established enterprise, it’s likely that you’ve got a body of followers, whether they be customers who come into your bricks and mortar shop, or a digital population. Leverage the access you have to these people to help spread awareness of causes in need of donation or time, or even launch your own campaign. An hour a week from you or your social media manager, if you have one, are enough to make a big difference to an existing charitable effort.
GET INVOLVED LOCALLY
Charity often starts near home, and your efforts don’t have to be grand and sweeping to make a profound difference to someone’s life. Start small with a collection tin in a high-traffic spot in your workplace, or a monthly food drive for the local food bank. Create opportunities for young people to learn about your trade by allowing them to volunteer with you for a day or a week. Or even donate a small percentage of all your profit to a charity of your choice. 0.5% each time won’t seem like a big loss, but it will mount up over time.
Contribution from freelance writer, Jenny Holt