The holiday season is officially upon us, and shopping for gifts is already on many people’s minds. As a business owner, this can be an important time of year for your end-of-the-year profits, but taking the time to give back is just as important. Holiday sales are important to businesses of all sizes, and this does not mean you have to choose one over the other — increasing sales or giving back. It is possible to do both.

There are many different ways you can give back during the holidays as a yoga studio or small business owner, and many ways you can get your customers and students involved, too. Here are a few examples of things you can do that will encourage customer and student participation:

1. Host a Food Drive

Hosting a food drive, or partnering with other organizations as part of a larger food drive, is a great way to give back during the holidays and to encourage student participation. You can even have a special donation-only class, encouraging students to bring a non-perishable food item instead of paying the class fee.

2. Donate a Portion of Sales

Another easy way to give back is to donate a portion of retail sales or class fees to an organization of your choice. One way to encourage student involvement is to have them suggest or vote on an organization to give to. 

3. Host a Toy Drive

Similar to hosting a food drive, you can also host or take part in a toy drive. There are many families who struggle to provide toys for their children during the holidays, and this is a great way to help bring joy to these families who are in need during this time of year.

4. Organize a Volunteer Event

Organizing a volunteer event can be a very rewarding experience for you and your students. Finding a local organization such as a soup kitchen or homeless shelter, and helping to prepare or serve meals, can be a very meaningful and significant way to give back.

5. Personal Care Item Donations

Many food banks and homeless shelters receive a lot of food donations around the holidays and throughout the year, but personal care items are always in high demand and are often overlooked. Similar to the ideas mentioned above, you can partner with your local food bank or homeless shelter and see if there are any items in particular they need. You can get a box to place in your main lobby and encourage your students to bring in some of these items to donate. 

Giving back in any way is not only good for reaching out and helping others, it can also help to grow your business and reach new people. When people see you care about and are involved in these things, it gives them an added reason to support you.

Kaitlyn Evans is the sustainability and communications director at JadeYoga. She can be reached at ke@jadeyoga.com or 610.828.4830