Friday, May 15, 2009

How Local Small Businesses Can Give Back to Local Schools

Rick Hart of Hayward, CA, was working for a paper company and brought a truckload of paper to his son’s fourth grade classroom. The teacher burst into tears when she saw the stacks of paper. Up until then he knew that the school needed supplies every now and then when they would send “please help” messages home with the kids. But he didn’t realize how desperate they were until that day. That inspired him to come up with a way where the community can support the schools by supporting local businesses which then give back to the schools, creating a win-win-win for everyone.

He conceived a pilot program in Hayward CA, Business4HaywardSchools. The project has been such a success for the Hayward businesses and community that Rick and his son, Patrick have turned this idea into a start-up venture, Business4Schools that could service any community.

The way Business4Schools works is that a group of local businessmen join the cooperative program with startup and monthly membership fees. Business4Schools sets up and executes a marketing and promotion package which includes a support website for the program, complete with online profile for each participating business, brochure templates, in-store placards, stickers, customer thank you cards. Business4schools markets directly to the parents and the community. When a customer comes to the business through the program, the business sends a pre-determined percentage of the proceeds to the school fund which is applied specifically towards buying supplies. All donations are tracked on the website.

The simplicity of the idea and the benefits to the community and the businesses has caught on. Mountain View in the San Francisco Bay Area is looking into bringing this idea to their community through their Chamber of Commerce, Shop Local Program.

Business4Schools logo says: "Improving Business, Improving Education"

It’s simple, easy and it works!

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