Friday, January 23, 2009

The Give and Get of Corporate Philanthropy

Surviving challenging times requires a reliance not only on your own fortitude but also on your connections with community. Demonstrating support for others can improve your image, your attitude and your bottom line. Whether you call it social responsibility, philanthropy or community relations, consider giving back an opportunity to get even more.

If you're giving back in order to celebrate a milestone in your business or to foster greater teamwork among your employees, think about how you can connect your action(s) to your motivation(s). Perhaps you devise a fun way for employees to be part of the selection process or you set up a matching program where you'll do a dollar match for your employees' donations of time & talent. Maybe it's all about making the action a celebration in itself to bolster pride in the values of the business.

If you're giving back because of forces around you, think about ways you can integrate it internally and make it a big deal. When approached by nonprofits needing assistance, consider the request thoughtfully and be sure it aligns with your corporate ideology. There is nothing wrong with making sure that your charitable acts result in more positive thinking in, by and of your company.

Understanding your motive and clarifying your purpose allows you to be authentic in your actions -- and that's good for everyone.
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