When Serving the Community
The Donation Box
When the business and arts communities work together in partnership, wonderful things happen. Bonds become tighter, mutual understanding flourishes, and skills and wisdom get shared – making each sector better and stronger along the way.
Finding Unique Ways To Give
Small businesses may be surprised just how many ways they can give back to the community. We hope this story inspires our colleagues to get creative.
As small business owners, it’s easy to think of the many ways our local arts community can support us, such as theatre and improv workshops for improving conflict resolution and public speaking, or painting workshops to strengthen collaboration and team building.
And of course, everyone is benefited by having a flourishing local arts scene.
When it comes to the other side, some may think advertising dollars and sponsorships are the only way to show support to local artists and charities. However, over the years, we have learned there are many more ways to help that hold just as much value.
We’ve always been passionate about supporting local art. From the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra and the Atlantic String Quartet, to emerging musicians through our popular, complimentary Concert in the Square series, we have been proud to support any arts groups in various ways since we opened our doors in 1991.
Our owner Pat Thompson comes from an arts background, having played in orchestras himself growing up, and has been committed to continuing his family business’ legacy of giving back.
Much of our early support was through traditional channels (mostly through monetary donations and auction items).
In more recent years, we have come to realize other ways in which we can lend a helping hand – namely on the back-end side of things.
So when we realized we had some extra capacity in our finance department, we contacted Business & Arts NL to offer bookkeeping services to groups in need, starting with Perchance Theatre in Cupids.
“Over the course of a year, our in-house finance department computerized their financial records and provided education on best practices to ensure they were able to maintain accurate and current records,” Pat says.
“By providing this foundation of both education and best practices, organizations are in a much stronger place with regards to meeting payroll, payables and receivables, CRA filings and applying for grants. This year we are delighted to provide the same support to Shakespeare By The Sea.”
We’re sharing this story to remind fellow business owners that little things that can make a big difference. While cash donations are always welcome to arts groups and charities, he adds, an in-kind donation for professional services is valuable too.
Perhaps you’re a moving company that can help a theatre group transport set pieces and props; or perhaps you’re a business with warehouse space to spare for a group that needs to stash some supplies for a while. Or maybe you have a marketing consultant onboard that can help an arts group with their communications plan. Businesses have all kinds of ability and assets that can be beneficial for the arts.
Having a strong arts community benefits the community as a whole. We encourage local business to look inside their companies for additional capacity in the areas of accounting, advertising, marketing, public relations, legal, and more, and to consider making these services available to arts groups and charities as part of their ongoing commitment to giving back.