Friday, April 15, 2011

The Personal Side of Corporate Giving

Corporate Community Build Day: Ali is taking time out of her workday to get this playground ready for the kids. 

A corporate giving strategy is usually set forth by the mission of the company and the needs of the community. As an employee you may actually have more resources than you think to make a difference in organizations that matter most to you.

This was brought to my attention last October while at a conference in Denver. The Market Manager told me that; “The company will donate $50 for every employee that participates in a bowl-a-thon. So, I did a fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club and actually raised a good amount of money.”

Skeptical and thinking “Ok right, I sit two rows away from Community Relations at the office and I haven’t heard anything about donations for these ‘a-thons’ you’re talking about.”

When I returned from the conference and chatted with my neighboring CR colleagues, it turned out that, yes, he was right. Our company donates $50 per person at each event in which employees are active participants, like a walk-a-thon or bowl-a-thon. I probably should have known he was right, as salespeople seem to have special insight into these special money deals before us corporate folk.

So, I encourage you to ask your Community Relations department how you can help. You may find the options are very similar to the ones listed below.

Matching Gifts Program
·      Volunteer Hours: Add up your volunteer hours for any non-profit and your employer will donate the equivalent of hours volunteered in cash to the organization. (100 hours = $100)
·      Donations: Your employer may match your personal donation to the selected non-profit. Depending on the priorities of giving, your donation may be doubled or tripled. For instance, my employer donates double the amount to any non-profit helping to assist in public education. If I donate $50 to a public education non-profit, the non-profit will actually receive $150.

Disaster Relief: When a major disaster occurs your company may match employee donations to selected organizations (i.e. Red Cross, Save the Children, etc.) that will help in the relief effort. Check out which non-profits your employer has chosen to support before making your donation. 

Employee Participation: Walk-a-thons, Bowl-a-thons, or other events. You may be able to have your employer donate a set amount on your behalf, just for participating.

Community Build Days or Special Projects: Designated community days that allow you to take time out of your workday to volunteer, without using any vacation time.

Your company is a resource for you, your ideals and the community. Make the most of your time and money for a good cause.


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