How to Build Charitable Giving Into Your Business


Evelyn LongEditor-in-Chief at Renovated

Friday, April 8, 2022

Running a business may ultimately be all about making profits, but giving back to the community is equally important — for multiple reasons.

Article 5 Minutes
How to Build Charitable Giving Into Your Business

Charitable giving can be a rewarding venture for business owners and their employees, creating a work culture that helps everyone feel invested in the good they do. It can also build strong ties between a business and a community for long-term visibility and goodwill.

Ready to expand your business’ charitable giving programs beyond one-time donations? Here are a few ideas for building charitable donations into a business.

1. Align charities with organizational values

There are countless charities to choose from when making donations. So how does a company decide on the right one?

Start by considering the organization’s fundamental values and pick a cause that has meaning to the organization. Suppose the company believes in finding creative solutions through technology. They may invest in programs that give underprivileged students access to technological training and programs.

The cause could represent these business values more generally or even connect with someone’s personal life. For example, maybe an employee’s family member has a critical medical condition. If so, choose a non-profit that is helping to fight the disease — creating impact both internally and in the community.

Lastly, if you’re not sure where to start, start at home. Locally-focused organizations can also drive a lot of good with sustained programs in their own backyards. Local food banks, children’s organizations and other groups often do the heavy lifting a community needs, but may need to fight for funding. Business support can help these programs expand their services.

2. Encourage employee feedback

Many charitable giving programs include opportunities for employee involvement, whether that’s volunteering, fundraising or tying donation goals to the outcomes of their work. For maximum buy-in, why not let employees have a say in the cause the organization supports?

Participating in the selection process is a great engagement tool for a team. To get employee feedback, send surveys or create a suggestions box. Another strategy is to hold leader lunches and meet with a few workers at a time. Employees may have personal ties to charitable causes leaders may not have heard about otherwise.

The experience is also an excellent way for the team to bond and unite towards a common goal. Employees want to feel their work has meaning. Allowing them to suggest and vote on community causes helps them forge a stronger connection to the company’s giving strategies.

3. Create a long-term partnership

You’ve chosen causes the team is excited about, and you’re ready to build an impactful program. But what kind of support can your organization provide?

Consider how long-lasting involvement can benefit a nonprofit. One-time fundraisers and sponsorships are fantastic for both parties. However, business leaders can drive even more lasting impact by creating close ties with a cause of choice.

Monetary donations are most critical to help sustain a charitable group. However, building stronger relationships can open up more opportunities for employees to be directly involved in the cause. Weekly or monthly volunteering slots and event planning assistance are great ways to support the organization while keeping team members engaged in the cause.

In addition, some companies offer their products, office supplies and services in-kind for foundation events or fundraisers. This can help promote their brand to the wider public and lead to potential profits down the line.

4. Build your own community connections

Partnering with already-existing nonprofits and charitable groups is a great solution for most businesses. These organizations have an experienced team and a clear purpose. As you invest in charitable giving, however, there may come a time when your team feels prepared to take on a larger project with more control — like building a community or private foundation, jobs program or other initiative.

Foundations are often taken on by well-established, lasting organizations because they provide multi-generational involvement and impact. Leaders, employees and their families can get involved in the foundation, provide ongoing research into impact and create a lasting impact on the community. The idea is to make gifts in perpetuity, though foundations will require more investment in talent to manage these funds.

Student internships or part-time jobs are another charitable initiative some organizations set up. While traditional unpaid or paid internships can be great long-term learning experiences for many college students, they’re not typically geared for greater impact. Some organizations instead create paid micro-internships with a particular focus on building opportunities for students in underfunded high schools or living in underserved communities. These students are often functionally excluded from entry into competitive, white-collar work, lacking the referrals and expensive education that unlocks opportunities for others.

5. Continue the momentum through marketing

Most organizations who engage in charitable work emphasize this on social media and marketing channels. Why is this so critical?

The benefits on the business side are clear — increased visibility of the good a company is doing helps boost customer loyalty and can aid in employee recruitment. According to one survey of over 350,000 employees, those who feel their employers make a positive impact are eleven times more likely to stay in the long-term.

However, social media marketing is surprisingly helpful for the initiative itself, too. Sharing a successful initiative with others can create positive momentum. If stakeholders see how the project benefited the community, they'll fund future donations.

To market the success, solicit employee feedback. Consider filming team members’ video testimonials and posting these on social media. Also, if you can, share personal stories about the people directly impacted and include share buttons within the post.

Build charitable giving into your business

Giving to charity is a rewarding experience. For businesses, it's a great way to give back to the local community and increase their reputation. If you’re looking to scale charitable giving into a sustainable, lasting program, there are a lot of creative and high-impact options available.

Financial donations are the fuel that will keep charitable organizations running and expanding over time, and business support will do a world of good there. Amping up partnerships, involving employees and building up new avenues for connecting with the community are also ways to make working for the public good intrinsic to your workplace.

Evelyn Long

Editor-in-Chief at Renovated

Evelyn is the editor-in-chief of Renovated, a web magazine for the home industry. Her work has been published by the National Association of REALTORS®, NCCER and other prominent industry resources.


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