Better than anyone, philanthropists understand that it is better to give than to receive. Also, it just so happens that some of the top philanthropists are business owners and corporate leaders. The decision to establish a corporate giving program creates a win-win situation, not only for charities that benefit but also for a company, team, brand reputation and financial bottom line.
Whether you have a startup organization and philanthropy is a part of your cultural foundation or you are ready to take your corporate giving to a more formal and organized level, establishing a corporate giving program is a worthwhile endeavor. It requires evaluating your mission statement, products and services, and core values then matching them with a program designed to give back in the most meaningful ways.
Every company has its unique motives and means for establishing a corporate giving program. Regardless of what yours may be, following the process below can get you started on the right foot.
Dig Deeper into Your Why
Of course, you want your organization to “do good” in the eyes of the community, your customers, employees, ownership, leadership and even stakeholders. Today, there is an expectation of corporate social responsibility, and establishing a corporate giving program certainly meets those expectations. However, creating a program that lasts and is meaningful takes digging deeper into your “why”.
Why are you establishing your corporate giving program? The experts at Greater Horizons cannot answer this question for you, but we can guide you to the answer. Programs built on deeper meanings are sustainable and can grow into corporate legacies. Those that aren’t tend to lose momentum and eventually fizzle.
Get Buy-In Across the Board
With your deeper “why” determined, ensure it stands up to others’ needs and expectations. Is your “why” connecting your causes’ needs, and does it motivate those who will be supporting it (through financial and/or volunteer participation)?
Talk to those in the community, in management and on staff. Even though your “why” may not be obvious to everyone on the surface level, determine whether your chosen cause is something that is needed and people can truly get behind. Only with a majority buy-in, can your charitable giving program build momentum and achieve a measurable impact.
Large corporations come with a greater number of people from which to get buy-in. This is an opportunity to expand your charitable reach. For example, a biotech firm could support a variety of other causes, from disease research to STEM education on local, national and global levels. Greater Horizons’ staff can help document a clear mission statement for your charitable giving program, outlining its goals and parameters. For example, if your company matches employee gifts and an employee submits a donation to an animal shelter, having documented parameters that state you support humanitarian causes can prevent your charitable funds from going to causes that don’t closely align with your philanthropic efforts.
Promote Your Charitable Giving Program
Seeing is believing. While you have buy-in on your chosen cause, the specifics of the situation or the charity might be vague in your employees’ minds. Invite an expert on the issue or a representative from a chosen charity to address your team. Schedule time for employees to engage personally be it volunteering on-site or visiting the charity. Having first-hand experience helps make personal connections with your cause.
Out of sight is out of mind. Just as you update employees on other company news, keep your charitable giving program part of your ongoing communication. Share news on milestones, success stories, financial impacts and reminders on volunteer opportunities, and donation drives and monetary matches.
For additional information about corporate charitable giving, download our guide: 5 Ways to Increase Your Company’s Charitable Giving.
Seek Greater Horizons’ Expertise
Greater Horizons provides the most comprehensive offering of products, services and expertise in the marketplace today, making establishing your charitable giving program easy and your charitable dollars work smarter. We offer an array of cost-effective services and a team to help you build upon and manage your good work.
Every day, Greater Horizons works with hundreds of businesses across the country to establish corporate giving programs to further their corporate philanthropy, helping them and their employees make a positive impact throughout the world via:
Corporate Foundations: To organize all your company’s philanthropy under one structure.
Strategic Planning Assistance: To align your giving to your company’s philanthropic mission and goals.
Matching Gift Programs: To build a program that matches time and monetary contributions.
Disaster Relief: To quickly respond as a company by collecting and distributing donations.
Giving Cards: To celebrate employees’ special occasions or thank clients with branded Giving Cards.
Custom Giving Programs: To tailor a program specifically to your goals, needs and resources.
Additional services available are:
- Scholarship Funds
- Competitive Grantmaking
- Assistance Identifying Company-Wide Volunteer Opportunities
- Volunteer Tracking
Need help setting up your corporate philanthropy program? We would love to help! Please contact us to learn more.