Corporate giving, charitable giving, call it what you want. Companies have a long history of giving money to good causes.
While this is an admirable initiative, it is also an initiative that can bog down over time. As is often the case in other areas of business, donations can be slow due to administrative procedures and bureaucratic processes. It can also be wasteful when not well structured. Corporate charitable donations can even be counterproductive if they support causes that a company’s employees don’t agree with.
If your business is struggling to give effectively, here are some tips to help you make charitable giving easier.
1. Democratize your donations
One of the easiest ways to simplify your giving is to delegate it. The natural follow-up question is who should be in charge of such an important activity. One possible answer is your employees themselves.
Philanthropy-as-a-service providers like Groundswell empower individual workers to decide where their company’s donations go. The giving platform allows employees to donate donor-advised funds their employer provides to the causes most important to them.
The option of a decentralized giving initiative doubles as a new compensation pillar that each employee can distribute as their own “personal foundation”. The result is a targeted and streamlined corporate gift.
2. Communicate consistently
Transparency is one of the key factors that go into an effective business-based charity organization. If you want to streamline your charitable giving, you need to keep the activity clear and well communicated.
Even if you don’t completely democratize your giving, be sure to include your employees in this process. Tell them where their donations are going and ask for their feedback.
Also let your customers know about your donations. Don’t be enigmatic. Embrace your charitable causes as part of a winning business strategy.
Disclosure of charitable activities also applies to charities themselves. Use your efforts to build strong relationships with the organizations you support. This paves the way for working together with ease.
3. Do your homework
You don’t want to pick a charity, allocate funds to it, and then find out it was a bad idea.
There are many reasons why even well-known organizations can be a poor fit for a business. Maybe it’s poorly managed or doesn’t have a good track record of impact. Whatever the reason, it’s much harder to walk away from a charitable relationship than to avoid it in the first place.
If you want to make your corporate giving easier, always do your homework before deciding where to donate (especially before announcing your choice to the world). Most reputable charities have plenty of third-party information online, or you might consider using a tool like Charity Navigator to assess. Do some research ahead of time to make sure it’s worth working with an organization for the long term.
Corporate giving isn’t just a win-win activity that helps those in need and gives your marketing team something to say. It’s a powerful incentive that can attract quality talent at a time when employees have a premium.
At least, good corporate donations can have this effect. It’s important for leaders to evaluate the effectiveness and simplicity of their company’s charitable giving. This way, it can remain an important part of their business operations in the future.