As the holiday season is in full swing, many people are thinking of ways that they can give back. If you're like me, you want to do more than simply drop your change into the red bucket outside the store - you want to make a difference year-round through your business.
Not sure where to start? Here are some ways that you can give back:
Donate to a Cause
One easy way to give back is to donate to a cause that means something to you. You can do this as a percentage of your income or as a set amount each month. All you have to do is find an organization that supports the cause you're passionate about and find out how you can donate to it.
Not every opportunity to give back will involve your specific skills - and that's okay. Volunteering in your community is always a great way to give back, even if you only have a few hours a month.
Use Your Leverage to Fundraise
If you have a dedicated social media following or email list, share with them about the causes and organizations you're passionate about. People want to know what matters to you and your leverage may just make others aware of an issue they want to donate to as well.
Offer a Scholarship
If you feel like you can't give money, but you want to help people who would like to hire you, offer a scholarship. This can be a few spots in your course or program or it can be a service you give to them.
Donate Your Skills
You have a unique set of skills that lots of organizations can use. Find out how you can put your knowledge and expertise to work for something you're passionate about.
do it the right way
Before donating your time or money to any cause or organization, make sure you're doing it the right way.
- Know that you have something to give, even if it doesn't seem like much.
- Always research the organization before donating - you want to know that your money will go where they say it does and not into someone's pocket.
- Do what brings you joy. Give because you want to, not because it looks good or because someone else does.
- If you're worried about giving too much, set boundaries. This is especially helpful if you're taking on projects pro bono. You can set a certain number of hours that you'll donate or give a detailed list of what you can provide.
- Find your own way. Just because most people donate a percentage of their income or set aside a certain number of hours per month to volunteer, doesn't mean you have to do the same. Find a way that works for your life and business.
How Lemon and the Sea Gives Back
So you may be wondering how I give back through Lemon and the Sea - I know I'm always interested in what others are doing and what causes pull at their hearts.
Giving consistently hasn't always been a part of my business model, but I'm making it a point to give more in 2017. Here are a few ways I've given back in the past:
- I've donated my design skills to non-profits to help them promote events and raise funds.
- I've given extra income to causes that I'm passionate about.
- I've volunteered my skills and my time for organizations I believe in, including Creative Marketplace RVA.
Moving forward, I'm taking what I've loved about each of these and creating a plan to do more with the time and money that I have to give.
- 5% of my income from client projects will go to Hope for Justice, an organization that works to end human trafficking by rescuing victims and helping them build new lives.
- I'm going to take on one pro bono project per quarter for a non-profit. Right now, that project is for RhythmXpress, a group a dancers who will be performing in the Special Olympics in 2017.
- I'll also continue volunteering at events around the community and in my church, giving my skills and my time to serve in the way that is needed most.
How do you give back?
Lemon and the Sea is a brand and website design company located in Richmond, VA. I specialize in making the branding process personal. I work with creative women who have a heart to serve others grow their businesses so they can focus on what's most important - family. I work closely with small businesses to help them dig into what makes them unique, share their vision, and build a business that genuinely represents who they are.