The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Starting Corporate Philanthropy
If you’re like many people, you probably have something that you’re devoted to and give back to. For example, abandoned animals might be your cause, and so you donate money and supplies to a local rescue center or give them hours of your time to work on projects. Or you may be moved by children who have difficulty reading, so you offer to spend lunch hours helping young kids work on their literacy skills.
Whatever the cause, individuals give back—and corporations and businesses do too—and their efforts continue to increase. In just one year, for example, corporate giving efforts grew almost four percent. And even better: Over three-fourths of companies match whatever their employees do for giving.
It’s not just good public relations for companies that’s demonstrated by corporate giving; it’s also good for employee retention and morale. If your company has never pursued a formal giving program, now may be the time to create one. The first step, of course, is to figure out what a well-received effort by the majority of employees would be. Many employees will feel more of a sense of connection if you choose an effort that’s local, too—they can see their actions make a direct impact, and they can find a number of ways to get involved.
Once you find the effort, you also need to find a way to formalize it as part of your corporate culture. So how do you do that—and create a successful corporate giving program? View this infographic for more detail.
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How to bake philanthropy into your company culture
Clearly established philanthropy as a company value.
And short every staff member is empowered to be an ambassador for the company’s philanthropy program.
Provide paid time off for volunteering, matching donations, and offer other incentives for employees to give back to causes they care about.
Make sure higher-level staff model and act of commitment to philanthropy.
Establish one or two days each month as company-wide give back days. (Host these during normal working or some please don’t lose their free time to a mandatory activity.)
Embrace opportunities for team building and philanthropy to go hand-in-hand e.g. wrap gift donations together during the holidays or plan a fundraising event as a team.