It is very important when establishing your Marketing and Public Relations budget to factor in giving back to your community! Consumers love to feel that they are assisting their community by doing business with you; this can be accomplished in many ways. Set up a program where a portion of all sales go to charities. You can run this as an on going program or pick your slowest sales day and run the program on that day.
Pick charities that will cross market with you by sending out a notification of your offer to their mailing list of donors.
While some will say this is manipulating the charity; all I can say is, the charity gets funds that they would not have and the donor gets a product or service as well as helping the charity. To me this is a win win for everyone and in tough economic times this is essential for the charity to survive.