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Donors / Working with Corporations

Working with Corporations

Working with Corporations -
Just like private individuals, many companies give to their communities because it is simply the right thing to do.
And the bottom-line benefits of giving are far-ranging and include:
  • Closer relationships with community leaders and officials
  • Greater customer loyalty
  • Increased positive name recognition and brand awareness
  • Leadership development opportunities for employees
  • Beneficial business-to-business relationships with non-profits
  • Exposure of staff to new ideas, points of view, and important social movements
If you are looking for …
  • A way to contribute to your community, but don’t know how
  • Ideas for handling the many requests for assistance that come from individuals and groups in your community
  • Tips for improving your current giving program
… then please read on!
For some companies, the old model of "chequebook charity" (simply contributing money to good causes) has shifted over recent years to giving programs that tie donations of time, money, and gifts-in-kind to defined business goals and desired benefits.

Focus your Giving

When planning a corporate giving program the first thing that needs to take place is to decide what you want to accomplish.  Answering the following questions will help to focus a program:
  • What are your current and future business interests?
  • What are your employees’ interests and what causes are they committed to?
  • What area of your community or who in the community is most affected by your business?
  • What community issues are likely to affect your business and/or employees?
  • Where do your employees, customers/clients live?
  • What do you want your company to be known for?
Answering these questions, the owner of a sign company, for example, might decide that her interests lie in making sure people can see and read his signs. She might therefore find out about existing services that would help her accomplish this and direct her company’s giving to activities such as publicizing the eye exams at the local hospital or supporting local literacy programs.

Establish a giving budget

Most companies use one of two approaches to determine their giving level: either a percentage of pre-tax net profit or based on past experience, adjusted for profitability.

Ways to give

Cash support is the most common type of contribution companies make.  In-kind contributions can consist of products, supplies, property or excess inventory. They can also include services such as printing, web site development and use of meeting rooms.
Companies may offer the time and expertise of employees, allowing them to help an organization on company time.  Employee "loans" can be either for single events or projects, or on a regular, longer-term basis.
Other components of a well-organized corporate giving program include:
  • Having one contact person
  • Establishing written guidelines
  • Communicating and monitoring the program
Click here to view a guide, covering details on how to establish an effective corporate giving program. 

It’s all about doing well by doing good and doing it smartly.