Corporate giving is no longer simply trendy, it’s a business imperative. Some businesses donate funds directly from product sales such as the popular Toms Shoes “One for One” campaign, while others engage employees in team-building initiatives through charity, such as volunteering on a build site for Habitat for Humanity. No matter the charitable choice, your charitable work matters to stakeholders.
A survey by Deloitte found that 61% of millennials, who rarely or never volunteer on their own, said they would consider a company’s commitment to the community when making a job decision.
Companies leading the way in corporate giving include, Timberland Canada, which invests in initiatives such as their Path of Service™ program. This program celebrated 20 years recently and it provides employees with up to 40 hours of paid time off for community service.
So how do you choose the right cause for your business, to make it work for your business? Here are six tips to get you started:
- TEAM BRAINSTORM: The decision in choosing a charity should be a team effort. Employees and even customers can be just as invested in this decision as management. This is a great way to engage stakeholders, and make them feel like they are helping to shape business values in an important way.
- DOES YOUR BUSINESS HAVE A CAUSE? What does your business fight for? List the values that are important to your company and research charities that share the same values. Similar to finding an employee with the right ‘fit’ for your business, the charity you support should also have the right ‘fit’.
- RATE YOUR CHARITY: Review the charity’s financial reports to your company can be accountable to stakeholders. You can also use resources such as Charity Intelligence Canada as they focus on research and analysis of Canadian charities to help donors make the right giving decisions.
- VISIT THE ORGANIZATION: Before you decide which cause to commit to, feel free to set up a meeting the charity’s Executive Director to better acquainted with their work. Better yet, volunteer with your team for an hour or day to experience the charity’s real impact first-hand.
- HOW DO YOU WANT TO GIVE? Corporate giving is not limited to financial contributions. Consider goods or services in kind (e.g. donating pro-bono expertise), or volunteer hours with your team and even your customers. Clearly define your commitment to your employees and the charity in advance to maximize impact on your corporate giving and then communicate your efforts to stakeholders.
- IGNITE YOUR TEAM’S PASSION: Corporate giving should emotionally connect with your employees and customers, and be strategically sound from a business perspective. There has to be passion and excitement behind this choice in order for your charitable efforts to pay off in terms of giving back to your business.
BlueSky Personnel Solutions recently identified a great charity that we are aligning with: Dress for Success. This non-profit organization provides low-income women with business suits for job interviews, boosts their confidence, and cultivates career development opportunities. We hope you will check them out this Thanksgiving and holiday season.