Total giving to charitable organizations was $295 billion in 2006. Although the majority of that giving came from individuals, $246 billion, corporations donated almost $13 billion to charity. Foundations made up the remaining $36 billion.
There are more than 11,000 501(c)3 charities in South Carolina. Of these, 3,297 have budgets over $25,000, and their missions focus on everything from the arts and social services, to science, the environment, sports, medicine, and education.
Non-profits are hungry for deep relationships and are more than happy to communicate a company’s role in increasing the effectiveness of the non-profit’s staff, board, volunteers, donors, and constituents. To take full advantage of partnering with a non-profit group or charitable agency, approach it as a formal relationship — it is still a business association. Supporting a worthwhile charity, especially if well promoted, could keep the loyalty of present customers, while attracting new ones who also believe in your “choice of cause”.
Studies have shown, repeatedly, that people would rather do business with people who contribute to worthy organizations in their local community. According to Professor Baruch Lev, of NYU’s Stern School of Business, for every tax-deductible dollar the average corporation gives to charity, it should expect profit to rise by roughly $2.00—$3.00. Returns on advertising dollars can’t touch that figure!
How to pick a charity to support
There are lots of options when working with charities. Obviously, you can give money, but you can also offer your’s and your employees’ time and talents helping with fund raising events, joining their Board of Directors, offering free services, and donating items. Besides, it’s the right thing to do — and it feels good!
1. Pick an organization whose mission motivates you, so you can become an enthusiastic supporter and/or volunteer.
2. Ask to see the organization’s financial statements.
3. Attend their programs, use their services, ask for informational materials on programs, giving opportunities, and membership options.
4. Talk to their current board members. Are their duties and responsibilities clearly outlined?
5. Schedule an appointment to speak to the Executive Director. Ask him/her what areas the organization most needs assistance.
6. Ask the Executive Director or Development Officer how they “thank” their supporters. This is very important, because you want to have appropriate recognition in ways that are meaningful and valuable to your company.
7. Contact IMPACT! Susan Mertz has over 20 years experience working with nonprofit organizations, as a Director, Board member, Development Officer, educator, and fund raiser.
Make an IMPACT!
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