In the marketing world, we often pay lip service to the idea of using a business to do good, but too often we fail to act on it. Corporate social responsibility–the official term for initiatives like these–can be a powerful way to not only make a difference but also to drive revenue, increase interest, and improve the morale of your team.

And in many cases, the most effective way to leverage the brand building potential of doing good is to go beyond simply writing a check. Here are some ideas:

  • Pick a cause that makes sense for your brand
  • Pick a cause that excites your employees
  • Consider focusing locally with your philanthropy

With your cause selected, your support could play out in a number of ways:

  • Donate a portion of the proceeds from a specific product
  • Make your space or resources available to a nonprofit
  • Give your employees paid time off to volunteer
  • Make volunteering a company-wide, coordinated effort
  • Share your own expertise with a cause
  • Host or sponsor an event

If you approach the opportunity with some creativity, you can make a difference in more ways than one!