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Dec 19, 2016

Make Impact Part of Every Day in 2017

As the year draws to an end I am grateful and excited how social impact is becoming part of more and more aspects of daily life.  Here are six ways you can make yourself more impactful in the coming months.

Volunteering:  If your company organizes volunteer activities, encourage them to join BESA.  BESA is a a local nonprofit that has developed a premier way to connect companies with local charities to find and organize company volunteer activities.  Looking for volunteer opportunities just for yourself?  Connect with HandsOn Central Ohio to find volunteer opportunities that fit your skills and interests.

Consumer purchases: Social enterprises create impact with every purchase you make.  Holiday shopping?  Look at the special discounts many local social enterprises are offering at #shopsocialcbus.com.  Gift certificates for coffee and dinner out, quilts, dog treats, books, jewelry, stationery, art supplies — all have special deals for your holiday shopping.  Looking forward to Spring? Painting, lawn care, bike repair, house cleaning, furniture, building supplies, and even cat cuddling (!) are all products and services provided by local social enterprises — and giving them your business will let them create more impact.

Company purchases:  Commercial cleaning, catering, landscaping, painting, website design, call centers, and promotional clothing are examples of the many business-to-business products and services offered by social enterprises.  Giving them your business is another way to support your community and create social impact.  Save money while creating impact by going to #shopsocialcbus.com  to see special discounts on company embroidered shirts, commercial cleaning, and groundskeeping.

Lending:  You can lend to small businesses and especially social enterprises through Kiva Columbus.  Your zero-interest loan of any amount can make a real difference to a small business.  Not sure you want to do it yourself?  The Center for Social Enterprise Development has a Kiva lending program for local social enterprises.  You can donate to the Center’s Kiva loan program and let the Center create impact for you.  Contact us at info@cincohio.com for details.

Investing:  Crowdfunding is becoming easier, but the path is easiest for accredited investors.  The CINCO Fund is one path for accredited investors to invest in the growth of social enterprises and their impact.  Contact us at info@cincohio.com to see if this approach to investing is for you.

Donating:  Some social enterprises are also charitable organizations so that you can support them and get a tax deduction.  Look at the profiles in our social enterprise directory to see which ones you like are nonprofits.  Or help the Center for Social Enterprise Development in its work to advance social enterprise in Central Ohio.  We welcome your tax-deductible contribution.  Contact us at info@cincohio.com for details on where to send your contribution.

This is my last post for 2016.  I hope these six paths to creating social impact will help you turn your everyday decision-making into an effective way to advance the community in 2017.

Allen Proctor, President & CEO

Center for Social Enterprise Development