Before your company can be a household name around the world, you must first become a household name within your community. Whatever industry your business is a part of, you probably have competitors right there in your own back yard, so finding a way to stand out from the masses takes both research and effort. One surefire way to make your business stand out within your community is to become a vital part of the community that your business calls home. Over 80% of consumers say that they consider a company’s social responsibility when deciding whether or not to patronize a business, so what you do in your community is just as important as what you do in business.

Sponsor an Event

Becoming a corporate sponsor for a community event is the definition of putting your money where your mouth is. It’s easy to say that you want to invest in your community, but you have to find a way to prove that it’s more than just talk. Not only can you create community events that will increase brand awareness of your business, but find an existing event that needs extra monetary support and agree to serve as a sponsor. Things like craft fairs and 5K races are great chances to get your name in front of a ton of people.

Adopt a Highway

With the studies that have already proven that people are drawn to businesses that give back, doing something simple like cleaning up litter along a particular stretch of road is a great way to prove that you care about your community. Most cities or towns will put a sign up that tells who has adopted that particular area so your business name will be on an often-passed sign and people will know that you care. All it takes is occasionally organizing your employees to go take part in a cleanup.

Help a Charity

While you can simply write a check that will serve as a tax write off to a local charity, another great opportunity is to physically volunteer your time. Charities are always looking for more volunteers, and while it’s ultimately about giving back, there’s nothing wrong with reaching out to area non-profits to expand the reach of your business. People will take note of your willingness to roll up your sleeves and help your town.

Start a Community Garden or Plant Trees

Work with other local organizations, such as schools or nonprofits to build a community garden. Vegetable gardens can operate in small spaces and provide food for families in need within the community. Furthermore, community gardens are a great way to decrease the amount of crime and improve people’s health. Areas that have been vacant for years can be perfect for such an endeavor. Often these vacant lots are filled with trash, as they often become illegal dumping sites. Work with local officials to see what your company can do to build something beautiful in place of an empty lot. A community garden can help people learn new skills and provide healthy food for those that need it most.

Another great way to get involved with the community is through planting trees. Hold a special event one weekend where everyone at your business goes out and plants a tree. Not only can your company help the community restore forest and agricultural land, but you can also be a part of the growing number of businesses investing in the future of the planet. The restoration industry is always looking for organizations that are interested in helping to combat climate change.

Sponsor a Local Sports Team

Support your community by sponsoring a local youth sports team. Do a bit of research and find out if there are any Little League teams, local dance troupes, or soccer tournaments that are looking for sponsorship. Sports sponsorship can be valuable to your business in a plethora of ways. Supporting the community’s youth activities is a great way to develop a positive reputation and expand your marketing strategy.

Sports benefit kids immensely. Young athletes learn how to work with others, stay healthy and develop meaningful relationships. By sponsoring a team you can help the sports programs keep their participation costs low so that more children can be a part of the team.

Local sporting events usually bring together an audience that has similar interests and live small distances apart. That makes a sporting event a fantastic opportunity or create a buzz about your business, launch a new product, or simply increase brand awareness. Furthermore, corporate sponsorship can help to create great customer loyalty.

Community is a critical component of local businesses. It’s important to have an attachment to the places that your business operates, as well as the people who live in the communities that you serve. For more ideas about how to get your business involved with charity, check out these tips.