card-reader-valentines-day.jpgWhen you own your own business, you’re in a position to make a difference in the lives of others — with your product or service, by creating jobs and by giving back to those in need. Business owners are in a particularly advantageous position to help raise funds for charities, and that’s not limited to big corporations. In fact, about 70 percent of small businesses contribute to charity.

If your business isn’t already giving to charity and you want to start, or you’re looking for ways to up your giving game, here are six simple ways to give back.

Checkout Donations

Online or at your register, there are plenty of programs out there, such as Charity Checkout, that allow businesses to collect a donation from customers as they’re completing a transaction. The amounts are usually small — a dollar or even the change to round up to the next dollar — but can add up over time.

Donate the proceeds from the sale of one particular item

Choose a special item or package of services to highlight during a particular time and donate all or some of the proceeds to a chosen charity. Customers will have an extra incentive to purchase your product while doing good at the same time.

Donate a portion of sales

For a specified day or amount of time, donate a portion of sales to a particular charity. It’s a great opportunity to partner with the charity and to cross-promote via their social media channels and yours.

Volunteer

There are plenty of organizations that need not just dollars but helping hands. From soup kitchens to Habitat for Humanity, seek out an opportunity for you and your employees to step out and help in your community. Bonus: It can be a great team-building experience as well.

Join the Merchant Giving Program

The Merchant Giving Program helps businesses give back by donating a portion of their credit card fees to various non-profit agencies. Participating businesses get a decal for their window to let customers know they are supporting a charity in this way.

Just Donate

Direct donations from your business are, of course, the simplest method of giving back if you don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to other methods at the time. And while the primary motivation for doing so is to help those in need, giving could be good for business too. Not only are donations tax deductible, but at least one study found that 85 percent of people see charitable businesses in a favorable light.