David Hancock with Morgan James Publishing wrote a nice blog post, To Give is To Receive, on the Digitizer Group Blog encouraging businesses to think about ways to be involved with causes beyond just writing a check. Here is the link.
Nonprofits always are seeking cash donations and if you have dollars to give, they of course appreciate that. However, if you are looking to offer your company and employees a deeper, richer experience with the community…chances are giving cash alone will not do it. There are so many other ways to offer much needed support to causes. I have a menu of 65 ways that I use with my clients to help them figure out what combination of giving approaches works best for their specific situation. Think of your giving as a portfolio. Cash may be one thing you offer…but what other resources do you have or have access to?
I had the opportunity to interview David Eisner, the former CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, in October about his sense of current trends in business giving. During our time, he mentioned that one thing that gets in the way of businesses thinking beyond checkbook philanthropy is in fact nonprofits themselves. Many of them are still firmly rooted in the “tin cup” mentality of charitable donations and do not think partnership with benefits for both organizations. Hence, when you are approached, you may be asked for a donation. I encourage you to engage in a different conversation with the nonprofit rep about what else you could do to support their efforts. You may be surprised what can develop!
My forthcoming book on business giving strategies outlines the range of ways to make a real difference in the community through contributions of dollars, time, and other resources as well as commerce-based promotions and relationships.