How to Engage in Corporate Giving

It’s been decided by the partners and approved by the board of directors. The company will commit a percentage of its revenue as donations to nonprofits and other charitable organizations. It’s time to give back to the community.

You’re taking the lead in this effort and don’t have a clue where to start. Is corporate giving all about cash donations only? Or could you donate goods like the company’s fire-fighting equipment, pumps, and diesel tanks? Can you put old inventory for sale and use the proceeds as donations?

Here are some ideas to guide you:

Understanding Corporate Giving

In 2017, Wells Fargo & Company donated $287 to charity. This constitutes 1% of its $27.4 billion profit. This didn’t even make the company number 1 in terms of corporate giving. The number 1 rank went to the Biotech company Gilead Sciences with a total of $388 million.

You’re neither of these two companies, but to decide in favor of charity donations is already the right move. 2017 finished with a total of $410 billion in donations, mostly given by big corporations like Wells Fargo, Gilead Sciences, and Google.

Why Do It

Your corporate leadership understands that giving back is mutually beneficial to the company and the community. Even for small businesses, donating for a cause allows companies to connect in a meaningful way to the community. It provides good public relations for the company and creates a message that your business is not only interested in making a profit. Good public relations translates to good business.

Charitable donations also encourage partnerships with other organizations. This coming together of individuals and groups makes addressing issues and challenges more manageable.

man holding a gift box

Get on the Radar

The general practice is that nonprofits and charitable organizations conduct fund-raising activities or solicit donations from corporations, bi-lateral aid agencies or foundations. These big donors, because of their track record of giving, are already on the radar of the nonprofits or community groups.

You need to get on the same radar. Here are a few ideas on how to do it:

  1. Your website. Create banner ads and a section on your site announcing that you’re ready to provide donations. You will likely receive hundreds of responses. Make sure that you’ve established a transparent process on how to access your funding. Think of it as offering a scholarship. Students need to have a certain grade point average to qualify.
  2. Organize an event. Organize an event wherein the invitees would be representatives of various charitable organizations, nonprofits, local authorities, small businesses, and other community members. You can showcase your products at the event and at the same time, announce your plans to support community initiatives.
  3. Partner with others.  Look for organizations or companies that have had experience in corporate giving. See if they are open to doing collaborative work.
  4. Seek recipients. Your local churches, the Red Cross, cancer foundations, and organizations for clean water are just some of the distinct starting points. There are thousands of organizations with whom you can work with. The most important thing is to find one that shares your company’s values. There must be a fit. Otherwise, you will open yourself to possible controversies.

Finally, consider how you can donate goods or your employees’ time to causes. If your company, for example, supplies water pumps or generators, then you can give to organizations that work on issues like clean water or alternative energies. The possibilities are endless, and corporate giving is good for the soul.

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