An integral part of a company’s Public Relations Plan is a well-thought-out Contributions Policy.
Once a company is recognized in the community as a contributor to a non-profit organization, others will make requests for funds. A highly visible company could be inundated with these requests for money — far exceeding their ability to support.
Often times to avoid being viewed as the “bad guy” and saying “no” to a worthwhile cause, fund raising event or organizationA a company will “ignore or table” requests. There is a better way!
If a company takes its role as a community partner seriously in the communities it does business, it should develop a strategic Contributions Policy designed as an organized plan for visible public relations and recognized corporate goodwill.
This Policy accomplishes two important tasks:
! It focuses and organizes the corporate giving program so that the company outlines which types of organizations it chooses to support and designates monetary amounts for each focus area.
! It will be the Policy, not the spokesperson who will decide whether the request is worthy of funds.
For example: If an organization, outside of the company’s giving area requests funds: “Thank you for your request. Your organization is very worthy, however, it is outside one of our current focus areas.”
OR If the request is in the company’s giving area, but funds are spoken for: “Thank you for your request. Although your organization is within our focus area guidelines, all monies have been designated this year. Please apply earlier next year.”
How to Create a Contributions Plan
Identify Company and individual employee strengths
! What products or services can the company provide to the community?
! What skills do employees possess that they feel comfortable sharing with other organizations within the community? What areas of interests do employees possess? Where would they like to donate their time?
Consider Company and employee limitations
! The primary responsibility of the company is to produce a profitable product. Community involvement, although important, should not keep employees from completing their jobs.
Select “focus areas of support”
! Search out projects and activities in your community where your company can make a difference.
! Identify organizations to which you will donate time, money, and/or products.
Look for opportunities for recognition
Goodwill has its own rewards, but after doing a “good deed”, get the company name in the media or on a visible plaque. Look for creative ways to receive recognition and good public relations.
Set up “How to Apply” Guidelines
Create an application with request deadlines. Include inquiries into the requesting organizations’ mission, goals, programs, and past successes and challenges. Provide an outline of the review process and how the funds will be distributed and the reporting system you require for accountability.
Make an IMPACT!
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