Membership 101

Ten Ways Members Can Give Back to the Community

By Amy MacLachlan

As the Chamber’s Member Support Coordinator, I field a lot of questions. One thing I hear often is, ‘I know what the Chamber can do for me, but how do I give back to the members?’

I love this question.

And I’ve got some ideas.

  1. Get involved. This one’s easy. If you’re a member, make sure to come out to events, chat with new members who may struggle to break into new groups, offer to volunteer at our large events, share your knowledge and expertise at one of our Learning Series workshops, or chat with Chamber staff about ideas to engage members. (Our upcoming “Sweat Social” is a brand new event, thanks to one of our members who brought it to us as something to consider. We want to hear from you! Don’t hesitate to reach out.)
  2. Host an event. If you have the space, hosting other Chamber members (and potential members) during a Business After Hours brings people into your business, provides food and drink, and gives business owners a place to relax and connect. If you’d like to host but don’t have enough room, let us know and we can match you with a member who does.
  3. Offer a Member to Member This is a great way to offer other Chamber members a perk for using your service or purchasing your product. You might also want to consider offering a special discount or promo to a local charity.
  4. Advocate for change. Whether you need help navigating Town Hall or want to know about the latest legislation that may affect your business, the Chamber is here to help. Email Bianca with questions and help advocate on issues that affect other business owners like you.
  5. Sponsor an event. Getting involved with our larger events enables us to put on a bigger and better event for all who attend. Our Sports Celebrity Dinner, for example, supports our scholarship program, so contributing has a double feel-good factor.
  6. Share your Chamber love with other business owners in Milton by spreading the word, sharing on social media, or displaying the Chamber member decal on your website or physical space. Also, be sure to bring a friend to our networking events.
  7. Search our online member directory for our not-for-profit members and give them a call. Learn about what they do and ask how you can get involved and support their work. (Bonus: Volunteering as a team give staff a morale boost and a cause to rally behind.)
  8. Keep reading our newsletters for the latest news and announcements. Our Member Appreciation Night in December (more info to come soon!) will be asking for clothing donations to one of our newer members, Clothing Pickup for Cerebral Palsy.
  9. Consider being a mentor. Perhaps you are an established business with lots of hard-earned lessons and expertise to share. Consider connecting with a brand new entrepreneur and offer them your time and knowledge. It could be as simple as meeting for coffee once or twice so they can ask questions, or maybe donating a product or one-time service that will help them get off the ground.
  10. Create a strategic plan that includes goals for giving back and set aside a budget to enable those goals.

Quick tip: April is National Volunteer Month, so plan ahead and think of something you may want to do with your team, or a budget line that can be set aside for a community organization or charity.

According to Forbes magazine, adopting a solid Corporate Social Responsibility plan – even as a small business without a big budget – can help create a positive business image, leads to better engagement with customers, fosters customer loyalty, and can help customers feel like they’re playing a part in giving back. It can also help you and your team feel good, upping employee retention and making your business an attractive potential workplace for job hunters.

Being a business owner gives you a unique way to be involved in your community. The Chamber can help! If you have any questions, please contact Amy, our Member Support Coordinator.