Companies of all sizes are now expected to give back to their local communities. A corporate philanthropy program can take many forms, such as matching gifts, grants, volunteer initiatives, and scholarships. It is important to choose the best program structure that fits the resources and goals of the business. Engaging in corporate philanthropy can benefit the employees, consumers, and public image of the company. It also serves as a subset of corporate social responsibility (CSR), which is a broader term for how a company interacts with society.
A successful corporate giving program should include elements that are common to all effective programs: aligning with company values, prioritizing relationships, clear communication, going beyond just giving money, measuring the impact, and using the right tools. By keeping these elements in mind, companies can create a philanthropic program that is successful in both the short and long term. Think about what steps your company can take to begin, expand, or keep up with charitable giving amidst an evolving economy.
When planning corporate philanthropy efforts, it is important to take the time to map out how community issues align with company values and employee interests. Additionally, it is beneficial to hone in on a target population or issue and to clearly lay out criteria for success. This will ensure that the philanthropy efforts are authentic and that the goals are achievable.
If you want your corporate giving program to be successful, you’ll need to put in some legwork to reach the organization’s best alignment with your goals. Establish criteria for the amount and type of organizations you want to support and explore community-based organizations in your area. Connect with leaders and organizations that would be well-suited for your giving program. Make sure to be clear and direct with your communication and let organizations know if you have particular criteria, so they don’t waste their time. Ultimately, take your giving to the people you want to support, and don’t expect them to find you.
A strategic approach
Creating a strategic approach to corporate philanthropy is essential for success. Without it, there could be unnecessary frustration and difficulty in accessing the funds necessary to support community members. To ensure smooth and effective operation, building a structure that allows your organization to easily communicate and collaborate with those it seeks to support is important. To do this, use tools and systems that enable growth, encourage collaboration, and cover the entire lifecycle of the program.
Developing a corporate philanthropy program is an important step in making a difference in the community. Building social impact measurement into the program will allow for data collection that reflects the outcomes desired. As your program progresses, you will gain insight into what works and what doesn’t. Additionally, you can share the impact of your work with the public, teach lessons, bring attention to important issues, and become an example for other businesses that give back. As you set up your impact measurement strategy, make sure to find a balance between your need for data and the relationships you build with community organizations. Only ask for data that you will use and make the process as easy as possible for nonprofit teams to supply the information.
Corporate giving programs should strive to build long-term partnerships with community organizations, going beyond the transactional approach of just cutting a check. Through a deeper relationship, it is possible to create longer-term solutions and make a lasting impact. Establishing a long-term partnership will let you modify and build on your program without having to start from scratch every year. Additionally, this will provide the necessary connections and resources to act quickly in times of crisis should an emergency arises and deliver aid to those who need it.
Many businesses now consider corporate giving to be a key function of their operations. This is due to the increasing expectation from consumers and employees to use their resources for the greater good. For companies to effectively give back, they need to ensure that their philanthropy program is strategic and secure, with accurate reporting and streamlined processes. With the right system in place, companies can then focus on making a lasting, positive change in their community.