As a business owner, you want to incorporate philanthropy into your company because you know how important it is to reach out to those in need in your community. Yet you might not be quite sure how to do this. Read on for some tips and tricks that will allow you to express your generosity.
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Develop a Plan
Your first step toward greater philanthropy in your business is to develop a giving plan. Research the various nonprofits, causes and projects in your community that could use your support. Choose two or three that seem to fit your values and interests, and reach out to them to see what they need. Think, too, about how much you can offer, depending on your current circumstances, both monetarily and in other ways. Then set your plan and goals for the next few months to a year.
Your budget must come into play here as well. Take some time to go over your current income and expenses to see how much you might be able to set aside for philanthropy. If things are a little tight, you might try to cut a few less-than-necessary expenses to accommodate more giving. Look, for instance, at your current computer software budget. If you’re paying high subscription fees on several programs, consider switching to open source alternatives that are often free to use. You can designate the money saved toward your philanthropy goals.
You will also have to decide on the kinds of donations you’re going to make to your chosen recipients. Monetary donations might be easiest, and you could either give a lump sum once a year or spread your donation out into monthly payments. You don’t have to give to the level of Kirk Chewning Cane Bay Partners located in St. Croix, but be as generous as you can. You should also consider making in-kind donations according to your recipients’ needs and your business’ products and services. If you run a company that specializes in computer services, for instance, you could provide consulting for free to a nonprofit or sell computers and accessories at a discount.
Don’t hesitate to get your employees involved in your philanthropy. Encourage them to add their own donations to your company’s contributions and to volunteer with local nonprofits. You should do this as well and perhaps even get together a volunteer team with a regular schedule. Honor employee initiatives, too, with matching funds, in-kind offerings or even extra time to work on special projects or events.
Think Outside the Box
Finally, as you write up your philanthropy plan, try to think outside the box for new opportunities to give. You might, for instance, start a scholarship fund for young employees or for students in need in your community. You could also partner with other businesses to work on community projects. Perhaps a local park needs a new playground. Organize a team of several businesses, and do some fundraising among your customers. Then recruit employees to participate in designing and building the playground.
Incorporating philanthropy into your business can be extremely rewarding, so get started today to make a difference in your community.