Every business needs the support of their local community in order to be as successful as possible. Dealerships are no different. It can be easy to just get distracted by the money aspect or the hustle of your customers. But, it’s important to stop and reflect on your appreciation of the community that you are based in. If it wasn’t for the locals coming into your dealership, your business might not exist.

Giving back to your community this holiday season doesn’t mean that it has to be elaborate. Often times, you’ll find that the smallest actions are the ones that are appreciated the most. It’s also important to not forget about your own employees. While the holiday season offers plenty of merriment and fun, it can also create a lot of stress both at work and at home.

The holidays are a time for giving but doesn’t mean that you only have to wait until the holiday season to give back. Here are some simple actions that you can do around the holiday season and winter months to give back to your community.

Charitable Options

If you’re thinking of doing some charitable work during these months, here are a few great charities that you can support.

  1. #GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday is a global day that is fueled by the power of collaboration and social media. It takes place annually on the Tuesday after the U.S. Thanksgiving and right before Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

#GivingTuesday has made it easier for companies to kick off the charitable season. They provide you with resources, including case studies, a complete toolkit, and among others to get you started.Image result for movember

  1. Movember

This is one of the most popular charities due to its large presence on social media. For the thirty days of November, millions of men in over twenty-two countries grow out the mustaches to fight some of the biggest health issues that men face while also raising funds. These issues include suicide prevention, mental health, testicular cancer, and prostate cancer.

To learn more about how your dealership can participate, visit the Corporate Moustachery page.

  1. Feeding America

There are over 42 million people facing hunger just in the U.S. including nearly five million seniors and thirteen million children. The Feeding America network secures and distributes somewhere upwards of four billion meals annually. Your dealership can participate by partnering with local food banks either via volunteering or donating.

For more information regarding your local food banks and contact information, click here.

  1. Senior Visits

Nearly 60 percent of nursing home residents don’t receive regular visitors. This only intensifies during the holiday season when food, movies, and music evoke nostalgia and memories. Your dealership can partner with your local senior organization to provide them with the much-needed social interactions.

For more information, use VolunteerMatch’s search tool.
Image result for toys for tots

  1. Toys for Tots

The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation has been collecting and distributing toys for disadvantaged children since 1947. Your dealership can get involved in a number of ways, including volunteering at a local warehouse, becoming a toy drop site, or hosting a Toys for Tots event at your dealership.

For more information regarding connecting with your local Toys for Tots program, click here.

Actionable Options

If you’re looking for simple actions that your dealership can perform, here are a few great ideas.

  1. Promote Local Businesses

One of the best ways to get yourself known and to support your community is to help other businesses in your area. This can be anything from recommending your customers about these local treasures or setting up an area on your website that puts them on the spotlight. Cross networking with non-competing businesses can help you be able to reach more consumers while still helping out local business owners.

  1. Sponsor A Youth Sports Team

It’s highly likely that you have someone on staff that has a child on a youth sports team. By finding a local team, you’ll be able to help them with any necessary funds and gain publicity for your support.

  1. Participate In A Holiday Food Drive

During the holidays, many businesses encourage their employees to bring in non-perishable, unopened boxed and canned food that can then be donated to local food banks. This is a great way to help out with your local community while actually requiring very little from you. All you’ll need to do is set aside a time to deliver it before Christmas.

  1. Set Up A Collection Jar

If you’re looking for something that requirements no time commitment, then a collection jar is a great strategy. All you’ll need to do is choose a charity that’s important to your business. After that, you’ll just be collecting money in a high-traffic area of the dealership (service bay or reception area).

  1. Hold A Contest

Holding a contest is a great way to support your community while still encourage fun among your employees. Each employee can choose a local charity. Then instead of prizes, the money won will go to the charities chosen by the winner(s).

  1. Sponsor An Event

Sponsoring an event or participant in a local marathon can be a great way to show your support for the community. It is even better if you support your own employees who might be participating in the event.

  1. Encourage Employee Volunteerism

It’s now become a common practice for businesses to encourage their employees to volunteer by offering them paid time off to volunteer. This allows your dealership to show support for the community while allowing your employees to also shine. You can choose to offer your employees a specific amount of time each year, quarter, or month for volunteer work. This has been shown to boost morale and increase community involvement.

  1. Donate A Percentage Of Your Profits

Donating a percentage of your profits is an easy and effective strategy to employ. You’ll simply need to choose a charity that is relevant to your dealership or one that is personally important. Then, place signs and email your customers to inform them that you’ll be donating a percentage of the profits made within a time period.

  1. Support Our TroopsImage result for a million thanks

Being away from loved ones during the holiday season can take a toll on anyone, so imagine how our deployed service members feel. Luckily, there are plenty of ways for you to show your love and gratitude armed forces right from your home. You can find farms that participant in the Trees for Troops initiative and send Christmas trees to military bases worldwide. Or choose a more low-cost option like sending care packages and holiday cards to military members through organizations like A Million Thanks or Holidays for Heroes.

In order to become a cherished member of the community, you need to put in that little extra bit of effort to show that you care about your community and those in it. These few simple actions can truly make a huge difference in how your community views your dealership. From donating to charities to holding contests, all of them can work in a win-win situation.

References: GivingTuesday, Movember, Feeding America, VolunteerMatch, Toys for Tots, Christmas Spirit Foundation, A Million Change, American Red Cross

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