1. The giving of necessities, especially money, to the needy
2. Kind, gentle or compassionate treatment
The holiday season sees a rise in charitable giving from individuals and businesses alike. Maybe your business is one of these and you participate in a yearly ritual of buying toys to donate or working in a kitchen to feed the community at Christmastime. You might even be part of one of those businesses that makes community involvement a priority throughout the year.
Many charitable organizations depend on the donations at holiday time to fund most of the rest of the year. Many struggle to make those donations stretch until the next holiday season. How can your business become a year-round community supporter?
Getting buy-in for consistent corporate giving can be challenging. Here are some things to consider if you want to increase community involvement:
- Fully articulate the purpose of your giving – The best way to do this is to thoroughly research what your chosen charity does, for whom and how. Consider who else supports your charity. If they receive substantial support from another local business or group, consider a cause that has a greater need. Utilize any past measurements or statistics to demonstrate the charity’s effectiveness.
- Develop your own measurements – There are a couple things you probably want to measure. First, articulate the impact of your donation in terms of man-hours, money raised, people served or items produced. Setting goals and measuring success not only give senior management something they can quantify, it also motivates all the employees to participate. Second, evaluate the impact of the project on your reputation, or even financial gains. Yes, charitable giving should not expect anything in return, but demonstrating a positive return can spur even more giving in the future.
- Estimate the resources you will need – Just because your charitable project doesn’t have a bottom line or the typical use of resources, doesn’t mean it is any less of a project. Carefully consider your resources so you do not under or over commit. Use some traditional project management to consider the strengths and opportunities of your project. And be sure not to leave anyone out who wants to participate. Provide opportunities for employees to give of their time or money no matter how big or how small.
Whether your community outreach involves two people or 200, consider donating time or treasure now and throughout the year. Visit Charity Navigator or Great Nonprofits to learn more about corporate giving.