Corporate giving programs within businesses big or small add significant value to a company and the community the business resides. Participating in community philanthropic activities can often be a positive reflection of the culture within a company. In fact, potential employees will often ask within early interview stages, how the corporation brings purpose and good to the society. Moreover, customers of the business’s goods or services could be, and often are, influenced by the philanthropy of the corporation.
To give companies a few ideas on how to give back to its society, below are some suggestions:
1. Participate in Holiday Food Drives
Holiday food drives are a great way for businesses, especially small ones, interested in philanthropy to really thrive. Donation centers will advertise months in advance of the holiday season for businesses in the area to commit to donating food and necessary items for the upcoming festivities.
Holiday food drives are an easy way to participate in philanthropic activities and create team-building activities at the same time. Consider a friendly competition among staff. For example, you can tally who can bring in the most canned goods, or have a lighthearted gift-wrapping contest. It can also encourage businesses to participate in meaningful activities for a cause, such as the ones that Visit.org offers.
2. Sponsor a Youth Sports Team
During the next sports season, instead of buying a box of candy bars for a community team fundraiser, consider sponsoring the entire team and see the direct positive impact it makes on the kids’ lives. Allow your employees to leave a little early on game day and support the team with their families, or participate in the game as a referee or concession stand volunteer. Pictures of the event and volunteers are great to display in the office and on social media.
3. Back Local Kickstarters
Kickstarter is a platform for creative ideas to receive enough funding to come into fruition. Kickstarter projects are a good place to provide local help as they can grow into successful businesses within the community. A company can give back to society by providing money to Kickstarter projects in the area as a backer to the creator. It can even offer mentorship opportunities to start-ups who could use successful entrepreneur’s advice.
If your business cannot provide direct funds, consider donating a space in your company for local startups to set up their office a few days a week. Nowadays, co-working spaces have become a great way to meet other like-minded people. Collaboration could be at your fingertips. In some cases, donation of space could be tax redeemable, and may also help with your company’s mortgage or rent.
4. Build a House
Many notable charities invite corporate teams to participate in building houses. Helping to provide someone with a lasting home is an uplifting way for teams to bond with each other. Most companies spend one or two days with the organization splitting up the time with two or more groups of employees. Your time with the organization is donated, but the value your company brings giving back to the community is priceless.
5. Host a Philanthropic Event
Hosting a philanthropic event is not as daunting as it sounds. A lot of times a company or small business has the space to host philanthropic activities, and the services or products to supply a donation. If you are an interior design firm, consider auctioning services or inventory to guests. If you are a photographer, auction a photo session for families, individuals, or even businesses. A cash bar is another great way to cover costs and make money for your community, as well as get the party going!
There are a lot of opportunities for corporations to develop giving programs within the company. Even if the company does not have cash to offer, the time and manpower a business can offer is often more than enough to make an impact. The effect corporate giving can have on a business and its employees is rarely anything but positive, and creates a lasting connection between the company and the community.
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