Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Corporate Giving: Consider the Players

There are a number of details to consider when thinking about your philanthropic future: give to one or many; give based on a themes or whims; contribute regularly or in one shot; go local or be global; do your own thing or join in with a crowd. That makes it very important to consider the people involved and let them help shape the decisions about where and what you will offer (e.g., time, money, skills, goods, image, etc.).

If you're giving as an extension of your internal culture or are trying to spark employee camaraderie, consider a project that involves teamwork in which you donate time and skills. Connect with an existing cause, like Habitat for Humanity, or establish your own unique endeavor that requires joint planning. When planning something special, employees can really shape the effort. The more internal involvement when deciding, the more internal support you will likely receive.

If you're looking to improve perceptions, consider a cause that links to your mission and business focus. For example, a computer company might donate hardware/software to a national literacy organization. Or, a design firm might volunteer time to dig out flower beds at a community center. Think about who is involved, what makes them tick, what you want to accomplish and then make a list of possibilities. What organizations might fit your bill?
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