There was an article from Joan Hill, Communications Manager for Denver’s Warren Village, in Thursday June 19, 2008’s The Hub Section of the Denver Post about a recent philanthropy activity of Qwest, the telephone company.  Warren Village helps motivated low-income, single parents move from public assistance to self-sufficiency through subsidized housing, on-site childcare, counseling, and education or job training.

For the second year in a row, Qwest Women and employees provided every child at Warren Village a brand new pair of shoes.  “Seeing the joy on their faces was priceless,” according to Bridgette O’Toole who managed the shoe donation project for the company.  The article also mentioned that members of the women’s organization “asked everyone they knew to buy a pair of shoes to donate” which to me means they leveraged their personal networks not only to increase the amount they were able to contribute but, at the same time, they let others know about their community involvement, helping to improve the company’s image.  There were quotes from both Bridgette and Naomi Taggart, resources director for Warren Village in the article.
A couple things I liked about this little article:  One, it was submitted to the paper by the nonprofit, not the company which gives it higher credibility in many readers’ minds.  Two, it included quotes from both organizations on the benefit they received from engaging in the activity.  Third, the article gave the contact info for the nonprofit so readers could go to the website and read more about the organization.

However, I have a tip for all nonprofits.  It is great to submit a press release to the local newspaper to announce and indirectly thank a company for their support of your organization.  However, be sure to then post it on your website ASAP.  When I went to Warren Village’s website, they do have a press release page on their site but the most recent release posted there was a month old.  The Qwest release was not yet posted.  Sure nonprofits are often stretched and busy…but excellent donor care is essential!  Submit the release to the press and your webmaster at the same time!!

Warren Village exists so that low-income, single parent families achieve sustainable personal and economic self-sufficiency. People who are homeless have not only lost their home, they have also lost their connection to the community. Safe and secure housing, combined with self-help services gives stranded families the opportunity to regroup and become valuable members of society.”