Give Local America Day – May 3, 2016

Independent businesses give back to their communities in a big way. Their owners serve on non-profit boards, encourage employees to volunteer, donate goods and services, and give of their time, talent and resources in many other ways.  Local non-profit organizations rely heavily on their community’s independent businesses.

If you’re part of a local business group, consider surveying local business owners to aggregate names of the community organizations they support, the volunteer hours they provide and the monetary / in-kind contributions made. AMIBA has such templates and will host surveys / report data for affiliates at no cost.

The results are likely to impress. When Dane Buy Local surveyed their members, they tallied (pdf) 178,330 volunteer hours and $2,400,000 in giving to area non-profits! Results of the only broad-based national study exploring charitable giving by business size indicated small businesses donate about twice as much per employee to charitable organizations as large businesses (and undoubtedly they were more likely to be local charities).

GLA-Logo-transparentIn the spirit of community giving and in recognition of the strong bond between independent businesses and local non-profits, AMIBA has partnered with Give Local America for Give Local Day — an annual crowdfunding day for community non-profits.

We encourage local independent businesses to show their support and help their favorite non-profits, and pro-local business groups can facilitate business involvement.  Here are some ideas for how to engage:

Ideas for Businesses:

  • Showcase a non-profit by letting them set up an information table or providing them with display space for the day or week.
  • Give a percentage of sales on that day to your favorite non-profit.
  • Identify the ways your business gives back on a poster, chalkboard, or sandwich board
    • quantify % of annual or monthly income given to local non-profits
    • number of employee volunteer hours given to local non-profits
    • display a list of non-profits your business has supported
  • Highlight your favorite non-profit organizations on social media. Create a Facebook header that includes their logos showing your support.
  • Give your employees time to volunteer on the day/week.
  • Provide a time during the day for one or more non-profits to provide a brief presentation about their work in your place of business.
  • Donate proceeds from the sale of a designated item or service for the Day.
  • Food/beverage service – create a special brew, blend, drink, dish, etc. and give a portion or all of the proceeds from its sale for the Day to your favorite non-profit(s).
  • Pet/Feed stores – get creative with your donation and donate pounds of food equal to to percentage of sales for the day.
    • Consider letting an area shelter or pet rescue bring in ambassadors for the day.
  • Put out a jar to collect financial donations for your highlighted non-profit (if you can do it safely).
  • Invite patrons to add a donation to their purchase toward your highlighted non-profit or (if your POS can manage this) the charity of their choice.
  • Chalk the walk in front of your business with the names of your favorite non-profits, their logos, “We {heart} our local non-profits,” or any other message that’s appropriate. Also applies to sandwich boards, posters and window paint!

AMIBA Affiliates — is your community foundation participating?

  • This locator can help you find which community foundation(s) serve your community or region.
  • Contact your participating community foundation and suggest partnering for Give Local Day.
    • If your community foundation doesn’t yet participate, use the opportunity to meet and discuss partnering next year!  Ask them to visit for information.
  • Issue a joint press release and hold a press conference with businesses and non-profits highlighting the importance of local giving.
  • Include a good word about your group’s non-profit members in your social media.
  • Plan to register for the 2016 Day as a non-profit organization (if you didn’t this year). Remember – AMIBA can help affiliates with fiscal sponsorship!
  • create a group ad focused on business giving and identifying non-profit members in your local business coalition.
  • Have your group’s staff help out at member businesses that participate.  Be sure they wear a t-shirt, sport a button or cap identifying them with your group!

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