Corporate Philanthropy
Although much important philanthropic work is done by volunteers on the ground, it is important to remember that some of the most significant contributions to worthy causes come in the form of monetary aid. Donations from wealthy individuals and groups are the life-force for nonprofit organizations trying to help those in need. Some of the most influential benefactors are large corporations which donate to causes as small as funding local sports tournaments and as large as making a stand against human trafficking.

Companies invest billions of dollars each year in efforts to make a positive impact on the world. According to the 2012 Giving in Numbers report generated by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), corporate giving is on the rise. From the survey of 240 companies, the CECP discovered that giving in the year 2012 totaled US$20.3 billion. This sum was a substantial increase from the previous year and continues the rise in corporate donations observed in the 5 years prior. From 2007 to 2012, the CECP recorded a 42 percent increase in corporations’ giving numbers.

Matched employee donations account for a large part of these numbers for at least 181 of the 240 companies surveyed. Per company, the average total amount raised from employee payroll deductions in 2012 was $2.33 million. The efforts of employees to donate to worthy causes are beneficial to the corporations for which they work as it makes the corporations, as a whole, appear more charitable.

Employees are more likely to contribute to causes when they have wide access to those that are important to them and are not restricted in their giving opportunities. In order to meet their corporate philanthropy objectives, some companies have begun to utilize social giving platforms that allow employees to form groups around the issues about which they are most passionate. An example of one of these platforms is Givelocity, a social network that allows people to join “giving circles” revolving around the issues users find most important. Companies that are comfortable with doing business online may find that these platforms provide a new method to get their employees involved in philanthropic activities.

These glowing facts and statistics aside, there is a dark side to corporate philanthropy. One might wonder whether companies donate to causes because they care about their impact or merely because they want to bolster their own success. Donating to the community creates a heroic image for companies both large and small, and the goodwill that corporate philanthropy generates can increase customer interest and improve consumer opinions. Although corporate donations are impactful now, one might worry that if generosity becomes bad for business, companies might choose selfishness instead.

Whether or not the motives of giving corporations are wholly admirable, it cannot be denied that the efforts of companies to give back to the community are effective in growing local economies. Corporate donations are, after all, derived from the community in the first place and are rightly used to generate income back in that community. In areas below the poverty line, companies are able to generate new markets and opportunities for people who may never have had access to certain products before. In this way corporate philanthropy benefits both the buyer and supplier. From a savvy business perspective, new consumer income is readily available to go right back to the company, but it also means a higher quality of life for those taking advantage of the growing economy.

– Katie Pickle

Sources: Houston Chronicle, The Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire
Photo: Causecast

partner with a nonprofitHow to partner with a nonprofit? Partnering with a nonprofit organization can be rewarding and useful if done correctly. Knowing how partnering with a nonprofit operates is important to ensure you go about it the proper way. There are two main ways to partner with a nonprofit organization.

Top 2 Ways to Partner With a Nonprofit

  1. Cause marketing, the first way, is the type of partnership that many large corporations choose. Many people have likely experienced cause marketing while buying groceries or going through the drive-thru. If you have agreed to add a dollar or two to your total in order to donate to an organization, you have participated in a company’s cause marketing. Businesses will partner with an organization on the terms that they will advertise and collect donations so their own image is heightened in the eyes of their customers. Regardless of motives behind the agreement, these types of partnerships help nonprofits get their name out, as well as take in worthy donations.
  2. The second type of partnership is corporate giving, which most people are likely more familiar with. Corporate giving is essentially charitable donations, which can usually be used for tax deductions. This type of partnership can be made by both companies and individuals.

The first step in partnering with a nonprofit is seemingly obvious: know what nonprofit you want to partner with and contact them to begin the partnering process. It is important to have a connection with the nonprofit you choose; however, there are legal issues that must be verified before partnering.

Things to Consider: Legal Framework and Marketing Plan

Always remember to check the nonprofits’ tax-exempt status and ensure that they are eligible for tax-deductions, if that is something you are seeking. Requesting an IRS-issued letter, which states an organization’s eligibility for tax-deductions, can do this.

Formulating a marketing plan is vital when partnering with a nonprofit organization. By making a plan, you can guarantee that your time and money is being wisely spent. Both parties should closely access the plan so that everything is outlined clearly and properly. Important parts of the plan you should remember include a set start and end date, and how money and percentages are to work and be transferred. is a useful website that can help you properly set up a marketing plan for both you and the nonprofit.

Paperwork and proof are necessary when partnering with a non-profit. Because it is a partnership with a transfer of money, the records involved should always be kept so that nothing can be contemplated over later.

When money is being donated or transferred, it is important to never use cash. Doing so allows for the donation or transfer to be lost or stolen. Safer options for both you and the nonprofit, such as checks, allow for the money not to be lost and always traceable.

When donating online, in order to ensure safety, always check that there is a lock icon next to the browser’s status or another indicator that the website is safe.

Finally, promoting your partnership is essential. Though there are advertising laws that everyone should familiarize themselves with before considering serious advertising, it is always a good idea to spread the word about the nonprofit you sponsor as much as possible.

When partnering with a nonprofit, make sure to check your state or nation’s regulations regarding partnerships, because they can vary. For more information about partnering with a non-profit, contacting your state Attorney General’s office is a good way to better understand the laws in place.

– Katherine Wyant

Sources: U.S. Small Business Administration, Business USA, About Mone
Photo: Pexels