I have honestly been guilty of writing checks to my favorite charities, even volunteering my time on the proverbial soup line, thinking that was enough.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying to axe generous giving to nonprofit organizations. No, what I am saying is . . . do more.
As a small business owner you have much more to give than your money and time. You have connections, an audience and customers you can expose to the charities you love.
So, this year I challenged my Westlake Village, CA mortgage firm, The Ross Group, to press into our core values and create a platform for a charity close to our hearts, the ACTION Foundation. The foundation is a network of churches all across Ventura County who work to meet the needs of its community members through acts of service and events such as the Community Christmas Shoppes, which provides a free toy shopping experience for low income families.
We took our usual quarterly event, Waffle Wednesday, a time of connecting our community through free waffles and coffee, and transformed it into a night of active giving and awareness.
Hearing of our event plans, neighboring business donated $1000 so we could buy toys for a popup toy store where guests could purchase gifts to donate to ACTION’S Community Christmas Shoppe. Six businesses even donated their services such as a photo booth, music, lighting and a massage therapist.
With the help of 26 selfless volunteers from kendamas Canada, the event took place November 11 at our complex and was complete with a raffle, fried chicken and even an appearance from Santa.
More than 220 guests came and purchased over $1600 worth of toys to donate back to ACTION’s Community Christmas Shoppe.
We believe that we accomplished more than a festive night of charity. We as a company were able to take our core values like being fun and creativity, and social mindedness and perpetuate a message of love, compassion and awareness that will reproduce itself in a way a simple monetary donation cannot.
So, before you write that check, check yourself, your staff, your resources and see how you can do more for the causes you love.