How to Make Sense of Corporate Giving

pepper rutland-corporate givingGiving back is at the root of what connects us as members of society; we have an obligation to help one another. Hence, now more than ever, businesses are beginning to see their role in creating change as integral to business rather than separate from it, leading to culture of giving at every level of organization.

Establishing a culture of giving in your company can serve to do many things: improve morale, retain employees, and, most importantly, help you accomplish great things as an organization. However, deciding where and how to direct time and resources can be a challenge. In my experience, one of the best ways to inspire employees and create meaning behind philanthropy, is to align the way your company gives with its goals. Here’s how:


    1. Define What Your Goals Are
      Just as with your personal mission statement and business strategy, to truly make an impact as an organization, it’s important to specify goals and objectives for giving. How do you do this? Well, start by looking within. Survey your employees, ask what’s most important for them to be involved in and which areas of social justice they would most like to target. Likewise, determine how these causes fit into what your company does. For example, if you pie bakery, donating to organizations which help farming families, especially those within your community, is a win-win. And if you work for a tech startup, investing in or volunteering with STEM organizations is also mutually beneficial.
    2. Research Your Options
      Once you have a goal in mind, you can narrow down those organizations sensibly. Finding out how these organizations operate, their financials and documents showing accountability, is easier than ever with Charity Navigator. The website provides objective ratings for all charities to help individuals (or companies in this instance) “give smarter.” The FTC also provides some very helpful and practical tips to consider before donating to charity. 
    3. Seek Help from Experts
      If you plan to make social responsibility a key part of your business, it would be helpful to receive consultation from those with experience in the nonprofit world. Such a person should be familiar with donation schedules, opportunities to support the local community, and able to provide optimal ways to truly partner with charities or causes you’ve chosen to support. This advice will help you make a lasting impact on the world of philanthropy as a team.