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5 reasons why giving back to your community can boost your bottom line

This article will dive into why every dealership should be active in the community, and what they can gain by performing charitable work.

Business and profit go hand in hand – that’s the whole point. But another thing that successful dealerships have available due to financial success is the ability to give back.
 
Charity work and community engagement are great ways to boost morale within a dealership and build a positive reputation with buyers.
 
Need statistical proof? It’s out there. A survey conducted by CarGurus found that 45% of shoppers were somewhat or very likely to switch to a brand that provides a similar price and quality if that brand supports a good cause. Another study found that 55% of customers are willing to spend more with companies that share their values.
 
And the younger generation holds the importance of company culture and value in higher regard than any other generation before them. According to Forbes, nearly 70% of millennials consider the values of a company when making purchase decisions.
 
There are many benefits of community involvement and charitable work – customers will recognize and respect your business more, employees will appreciate working for an employer whose values match their own, the community will benefit, and you might even get some tax deductions along the way. What’s not to love?
 
This article will dive into why every dealership should be active in the community, what businesses can gain by performing charitable work in their community, and list some easy ways to get involved today.

5 reasons to take part in community engagement

1. Brand building and recognition

Businesses often spend large sums of money on marketing and advertising strategies to help build brand awareness and get their name out there in front of consumers. It’s an integral part of any successful brand – customers need to know your name and understand what you do. That helps them quickly think of your brand when it’s time to buy.
 
Imagine if there was a way to build that brand awareness and recognition for little to no cost. Great news – there is! Community giveback programs and charitable work can provide that kind of advertising for a much smaller dollar amount than would be needed to produce a television or radio advertisement.
 
You get free advertising, and the community benefits as a result. The consumers learn that community involvement and support are essential to your brand – leading them to want to buy their next vehicle from you.

2. Positive reputation and loyalty among customers

Regarding brand awareness, charity work guarantees to build a practical level of awareness. It only takes a second for the negative press to circulate on the internet and in the local community.
 
Getting involved with the local community and charity organizations generates a different kind of buzz. Customers will regard your business as a force for good in the community, and that positive reputation will have a ripple effect. Consumers will know that your company cares about the local community and is taking action to create a better situation for those who need it most. That leads to a loyal customer base who will be more likely to offer you return business – and that is every business owner’s ideal customer.
 
Community engagement events also create the perfect opportunity to generate activity with a loyalty program for customers. Try handing out information or providing sign-up sheets for email lists, social media accounts, or newsletters. And offer incentives for consumers to stop by and check out what you offer.

3. Employee motivation and retention

Besides the positive effect that community involvement will have on potential buyers, there are gains to be made internally as well. Participating in community betterment will lead to a workforce that enjoys showing up to work and respects the business owner for being charitable.
 
In today’s economic environment, when businesses worldwide struggle to hire and retain employees more than ever, this benefit is immeasurable. Employees who respect their employers and get a sense of fulfillment from their jobs are more likely to stay long-term instead of looking for a job at a dealership down the street.
 
Most job seekers expect more from their employers today – including a positive company culture and workplace environment and the opportunity to do something meaningful. Participating in charity events, or even better, allowing employees to participate as well, will lead to a more engaged and productive team. And a recent study found that community involvement has a direct effect on reducing turnover and motivating employees.

4. Tax deductions

Charity work should be done for the right reasons – it helps those less fortunate, builds better communities, and creates positivity where it’s needed. But this is business, and there’s no shame in taking advantage of the tax advantages that go hand in hand with certain types of charity work.
 
Monetary donations, equipment donations, and even mileage traveled to perform charity work are all potential tax deductions. It is important to do your research before choosing an organization to assist and ensure the IRS approves it as a recognized charity. It’s also advisable to consult with a tax advisor to make sure everything is on the up and up and processed correctly.

5. Community and economic development

Charity work typically benefits your immediate community members. These are the people who will be looking to you for future purchases. Supporting your local community is a great way to ensure those people are able to thrive and succeed in their everyday lives, which means they will have the income available to purchase a new vehicle when it’s time. A more robust local economy is sure to benefit your business in the long run.
 
These types of community involvement events also create a perfect opportunity for networking and outreach. You may meet your next superstar salesperson along the way. Or you’ll get the chance to converse with fellow dealers and learn something new about the business.

Ideas to get involved:

  • Donate a vehicle to a local organization in need
  • Create a fundraiser for a local school or community group
  • Organize a food or toy drive for the holidays or for children’s hospitals
  • Take a group of employees out to beautify a local park, beach, or community area.
  • Offer a donation in return for every purchase made
  • Sponsor a youth sports team or community group
  • Volunteer as a group at soup kitchens, food pantries, or other charity work 
  • Partner with the local fire department to host a safety event 
  • Offer to transport community members in need
Conclusion
 
Every dealership needs to take specific action to remain relevant and competitive in their local community. Use one of the ideas from this list, or get creative and brainstorm on your own.
 
Include your team members and employees in generating ways to give back. Everyone will benefit as a result – your customers will appreciate you, your employees will respect you, and your bottom line will get a boost.

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