Does your business have a corporate giving philosophy? A corporate giving policy? A corporate giving program? I’m a strong believer in the adage that the more you give, the more you receive. I’ve practiced that personally and professionally for many years. I have my favorite personal charities and I’ve convinced my office to sponsor other organizations we believe in and want to partner with.
National Giving Tuesday is November 27th and I want to encourage you to open your heart and your wallet to support local organizations that align with your business, your industry and/or your personal interests.
Charitable contributions on Giving Tuesday 2017 represented a total of $274 million! And as you can imagine, local schools, non profit organizations, churches and community organizations count on donations like these to survive and thrive.
Want to do something to give back, but aren’t quite sure where to start?
Here are 10 creative ways to give back:
- Donate goods— you don’t have to give cash. You can donate office equipment. You can set up a food drive at your office or in your building and deliver that to a local organization.
- Donate services— what does your business do? Is that something you can donate to help a non profit organization? For example: accounting services, marketing services, legal advice. How about mentoring? How about allowing employees to participate in school reading programs? After school tutoring programs? I once worked with an organization that received COO and CFO services for free.
- Volunteer in community food banks, nursing homes, hospitals or any other organization that might need more hands on deck like Habitat for Humanity.
- Cross advertise and cross promote— allow other businesses to advertise their “complementary to yours” services in your offices
- Consider supporting Community Foundations— These organizations allow you to pool resources for greater impact. Funds are invested and the earnings are given to charity. You can set parameters on how and who receives support from your contributions. An added bonus: many Community Foundations offer investment advice for legacy and recurring gifts.
- Become a sponsor. Your business can sponsor local sports teams; charity runs; music and art festivals; local farmer’s markets. Consider making a multi-year contribution: for example, offer to donate $5,000 over a 3 year period to be billed quarterly. This will help your bottom line and will also help the non profit that you are supporting with cash flow.
- Create a scholarship at a local high school or college. Have the applications geared towards something related to your business/industry or something you are passionate about. Keep in mind that the scholarship could be for $500 towards books and supplies. How about donating frequent flyer miles to get students home for the holidays?
- Consider offering matching gift contributions– help a non profit raise money by offering to match a portion (or all!) of its sponsorship dollars. This allows the organization to demonstrate that they are supported by others and leverage that more money will be raised, thereby increasing sustainability.
- Does your E-commerce site have an option at checkout to “Donate” for a cause you support? Be sure to explain the cause and tie it back to your company.
- Promote a local or international charity that you support on your website. Keep track and publicize the number of hours, the dollar amount of donations your company has made as well as the types of gifts or services you provide. People like to give to successful projects and keeping track of your efforts will go a long way to showing your commitment.
Need more convincing?
- Consider that your support of local organizations with in-kind or cash contributions will boost employee morale.
- It will also be great marketing for your company (think about logo opportunities as well as social media and PR highlights).
- Supporting non profit organizations will give you tax benefits/deductions.
You don’t have to be a corporate giant to be a good corporate citizen. Find a cause that aligns with you personally and professionally. Make a contribution of your time, talent or treasure and watch magic happen.
The WBDC Florida/Her Company Inc. are participating in Giving Tuesday with our Give2Grow campaign. We sincerely hope that you will consider making a donation in support of our services, our programs and our work with women in business. Click here for more info and THANK YOU!