Corporate giving, charitable giving, call it what you will. Companies have been in the business of giving money to good causes for a very long time.
While it’s an admirable initiative, it’s also one that can get bogged down over time. As is often the case in other areas of business, giving can be slow due to red tape procedures and bureaucratic processes. It can be wasteful when it isn’t structured well, too. Charitable corporate giving can even be counterproductive if it supports causes that a business’s employees don’t agree with.
If your company is struggling to give effectively, here are a few tips to help you make charitable giving easier.
1. Democratize Your Giving
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 put the power into the hands of individual workers to decide where their company’s donations go. The giving platform allows employees to give away donor-advised funds that their employer provides to the causes most important to them.
The option of a decentralized giving initiative doubles effectively as a new pillar of compensation that each employee can distribute as their own “personal foundation.” The result is corporate giving that is both targeted and streamlined.
2. Communicate Consistently
Transparency is one of the key factors that go into effective business-based charity. If you want to streamline your charitable giving, you need to keep the activity clear and well-communicated.
Even if you aren’t fully democratizing your giving, make sure to include your employees in this process. Talk to them about where their donations are going and seek their feedback.
Let your customers know about your giving, as well. Don’t be cryptic. Embrace your charitable causes as part of a winning business strategy.
Communicating charitable activity applies to the charities themselves, too. Use your efforts to build solid relationships with the organizations that you support. That paves the way to work together with ease.
3. Do Your Homework
You don’t want to choose a charity, allocate dollars toward it, and then find out that it was a bad idea.
There are many reasons that even well-known organizations can be a bad fit for a business. Maybe it’s poorly run or doesn’t have a good track record of making an impact. Whatever the reason, it’s much harder to back out of a charitable relationship than it is to avoid it in the first place.
If you want to make your corporate giving easier, always do your homework before you choose where you’ll be giving (especially before you announce that choice to the world). Most reputable charities have a lot of third-party information online, or you can consider using a tool like Charity Navigator to evaluate. Do some research beforehand to make sure that an organization is worth working with over the long haul.
Corporate giving isn’t just a win-win activity that helps those in need and provides your marketing team with something to talk about. It’s a powerful incentive that can attract quality talent in an era when employees come at a premium.
At least, good corporate giving can have that effect. It’s important that leaders evaluate the effectiveness and simplicity of their company’s charitable giving. That way it can remain a potent part of their company’s activities in the future.