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by Rachel Hutchisson, Business Doing Good & Blackbaud, Inc.

#GivingTuesday is coming soon.  Are you ready?

A quick look at the calendar this morning gave me a shock.  September 30th already?  No way!  Even though this happens to me every year, I’m still surprised by how quickly time goes once school begins and the fall conference and work season is afoot.  So here we are, two months shy of #GivingTuesday (December 2nd) with much to do.  But never fear, you DO have time to make a plan.  Here’s how to begin.

Begin by thinking about how you already give.  If your small business is like most others, you’re so busy running the operation, helping customers and making daily decisions that you might not have given deep thought to how you engage with your community.  So before you do anything specific related to #GivingTuesday, take a deep breath and assess what you do today to help out.  Ask yourself (or your team) the following questions:

  • What charitable donations (cash) do you make to nonprofits?
  • What in-kind donations (goods or services) do you make to nonprofits?
  • What kind of volunteerism do you engage in on a regular basis (the whole business, teams or individuals)?
  • What special events do you participate in as a business that helps show you are a member of the community?  For example, does your business particiate in a community fair held nearly, a Chamber of Commerce event or Small Business Saturday?

Write down the answers to these questions.  Compiling this overview will help you get a sense of where to go from here, providing hints and clues to where opportunity might be for your business to take the next step.  If you want a little more advice about how to do this audit, check out the following posts shared on this blog, including:

Next week, we’ll take another step in the direction toward having your own #GivingTuesday plan.  Stay with me.  It’s really not that difficult to do something!

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