When you started your small business, you possibly did it because you felt you had a great product and wanted to be your own boss. You didn't have to rely on others for a paycheck. However, there are other organizations that could use your help, both physically and financially, as a business owner. Nonprofits and community groups need as many volunteers and donors as possible to be able to reach the largest audience. You and your employees could provide at least some of the help they need.

Start small
There are well-known nonprofits and charities that can reach more people. However, as a small business owner, you won't have that kind of influence. Instead, get involved in your local community, Entrepreneur suggested. There are plenty of organizations and people in your town that would benefit from your aid. Choose one or two and try your best to help them out.

If you have room in your financial plan, you could contribute money either toward buying supplies, building shelters or creating scholarships for underprivileged students, the source explained. Assess your community's or organization's needs and do what you can to fulfill them. You can't do that without reaching out to the leaders around you. Make a phone call, send an email or take a trip. When you've talked to someone who has experience with certain issues or groups, you'll have a better understanding of what they require from you and your company. Seeing the status for yourself will also give you insight into how you can help.

Get your staff involved
Of course, money isn't everything. Nonprofits and local groups need volunteers just as much. Create a company culture that encourages civic engagement, Business News Daily recommended. You can start as early as the hiring process by finding individuals who believe in giving back as much as you do. You may also be able to convince your current employees to jump in on the program by showing them how they and the business can benefit from helping others.

"At its core, civic engagement creates bonds among employees, encourages a value-based company culture, and increases the overall morale of the organization," Patrick Brandt, chairman and CEO of Zimbra, Inc., told the source. "It creates incredible team building and leadership experiences, gives employees an opportunity to make an impact toward something they are passionate about without it coming at a cost at work and helps employees see their challenges and accomplishments through a different lens."

You should lead by example and start the volunteering program with yourself. Find out what you and your employees believe in and search for opportunities that fit those values, Business News Daily explained. You can either choose just one organization or let your workers pick their own. As long as they're making an effort to help people, you'll have engaged employees.

Getting involved with nonprofits will not only make you feel good, but it will also boost your company's reputation and standing in the community. When consumers know you like to give back, they'll be more willing to visit your business.