Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for Small Businesses

people rowing together

As a small business owner, you know your business better than anyone; you know why you started, where you’re going and what your business stands for. But many small businesses miss a critical opportunity to showcase these values through corporate giving because they think they can't afford it. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Small businesses can take advantage of multiple giving options, including:

  • Monetary donations
  • In-kind product or service donations
  • And employee volunteering opportunities

These flexible options allow you to meet your giving goals in a way that works for you and your bottom line. Even better, small businesses are in a unique position to make corporate giving — and their company values — an integral part of their brand story from day one through strategic nonprofit partnerships.

Showcase your values from day one

Forging a strong nonprofit partnership as a small business means your partnership is woven into your brand story from the beginning. This allows you to reap the benefits of CSR for small businesses right away, including:

  • Setting yourself apart from competitors- A strategic nonprofit partnership helps you build a stronger brand narrative and distinguish yourself from your competitors.
  • Increasing your product’s perceived value- Research from Nielsen shows that 66% of consumers (and 73% of Millennials) are willing to pay more for products and services from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact.
  • Reaching new customers- Through co-marketing opportunities with your nonprofit partner (events, social media, advertisements, packaging, etc.), customers that share your business’s values will be able to find you through the important work you and your parter are doing.
  • Attracting better job applicants- As a tangible commitment to your company values, your nonprofit partnership will help you attract and retain high-fit job applicants that believe in what you do.

As you can see, CSR for small businesses isn’t just attainable — it’s good for business. Even if your giving program starts small, as your business grows, so can your commitment. The most important step is to simply get started… But where do you begin?

a lake surrounded by mountains

Finding the right corporate giving strategy

It’s important to create a giving strategy that’s sustainable and rewarding for both you and your nonprofit partner. This means finding a nonprofit partner that aligns with your company values and creating a giving strategy that’s both realistic and impactful. Moreover, you’ll want to make sure your giving is certified by a trusted third party to demonstrate to customers and employees that your “support” goes deeper than just talk.

Thankfully, 1% for the Planet's strategic advising matches small businesses with environmental nonprofit partners that share their values and goals. These partnerships are designed to last, helping you forge a powerful brand story and make lasting change.

1% for the Planet can also help you create a giving strategy that works for you through a combination of monetary, volunteer, promotional and in-kind donations. All of these donations are certified by 1% for the Planet, assuring stakeholders that you and your nonprofit partner are truly making a difference. And because we only ask that you pledge 1% of your sales each year, your commitment will grow with you over time.

Being a part of 1% for the Planet is in our roots; it is valuable for keeping us accountable and active in our desire to give back. We feel honored that we can use All Good's voice, and our 1% for the Planet membership, as a platform to help bring awareness to important environmental issues." - Caroline Duell, Founder/CEO, All Good

Giving and growing with 1%

As you can see, there’s no such thing as being “too small” for corporate giving. CSR for small businesses is an important way for growing companies to define and demonstrate their values to themselves, their employees, their customers and to the world.

As a 1% for the Planet business member, you’ll enjoy a turnkey solution that combines certified corporate giving, impactful volunteering and brand-building opportunities. Our business members join a global network of forward-thinking businesses, with special opportunities to grow your brand through co-marketing, partnerships and events.

The best part? We make sure you have a partnership and giving strategy that works for you from day one.

For more information about 1% business membership, download our free guide, Getting Started with 1% for the Planet.

getting started with 1% for the planet