For today’s post in our series on creating community around your business, we’ll turn to Webs’ Head of Marketing, Rochelle, to hear about her first-hand experience with a local charitable organization.

It can be really difficult to think of new ways to create community around your small business–especially when you have your hands full with so many other tasks and demands.  One of the most effective community-creating strategies I’ve seen in action is in-kind donations: donating your business’s services or goods to other organizations (specifically non-profits) that can benefit from them.

To use a specific example, I am on the Board of Directors for Thrive DC, a homeless services organization based in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC.  While we receive government and private funding, a large number of our operations are powered by in-kind donations–organizations large and small donate services and goods ranging from food to medical care to accounting services and toiletries.

So how does this help the donating organizations create community? Thrive DC is grateful for the support, and we promote happily promote our supporting organizations in return for their generosity.  On a blog, in a newsletter sent to tens of thousands of donors and supporters, and in many events throughout the year, these in-kind donors are front and center.  We help promote their brands and tell their stories, giving them a much broader reach and community within the local area.

A couple of other benefits: in-kind donations are generally less expensive than sponsorships, and they expand your professional network as well.

Interested in giving in-kind donations, but not sure where to start?  Do some investigation on local community groups (sites like Bidding for Good can be helpful) and reach out to those that seem like a good fit.  Most community organizations are thrilled for the support, and happy to help in promoting your business based on the value you provide to them.

About the Author: Rochelle Sanchirico is Head of Marketing at Webs, where she oversees all marketing, analytics, and customer support operations.

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