Tis the season of giving, and it’s a good time to review and maybe improve your corporate giving strategies and initiatives.
If your company is like most US corporations and small business owners, you are generous:
- American corporations’ total 2016 giving rose 2.7 percent in current dollars (1.4 percent adjusted for inflation) from the revised estimate of $379.89 billion for total giving in 2015.
- A total of 52 percent of small business owners told Funding Circle in 2016 that planned to donate to charity in 2015 or they already had. Forty-six percent say they will donate up to $1,000.
That’s generosity is impressive, and I ask companies and consulted recently with an organization about when it comes to your corporate giving, are you reaping what you sow?
Certainly, giving is important to a company or brands’ role in their communities and can be simply for benevolence. And to really reap what you sow – reputation, recognition, relationships and maybe even revenue (when using cause marketing, which can be a separate conversation) — I suggest companies ask these overall and specific questions and suggest specific ways to assure they optimize giving.
Overall, you will benefit from knowing if your giving:
- Achieves organizational goals?
- Alleviates frustrations that come from corporate giving opportunities?
- Builds your business asset?
Specifically, you will benefit from understanding:
- For achieving organizational goals, are your corporate giving initiatives:
- Building community or market reputation?
- Attracting and retaining customers?
- Receiving appropriate credit/recognition among target audiences?
- Distracting leaders’ business and growth focus?
- Is your corporate giving organized to alleviate these types of frustrations:
- Getting no business impact?
- Perceived as irrelevant?
- Gifts that don’t resonate?
- More money donated and less ROI?
- How do you organize your corporate giving to build your business asset:
- Attracting and retaining high-performing staff?
- Using as cause marketing and driving site and maybe retail traffic?
- Keeping leadership focused on business?
- Concentrating on relevant impact?
Once you have those questions answered, you will want to approach your giving in two ways:
- Integrated solutions
- Purpose-driven mindset
Integrated solutions perform best when organized under these four areas and deliver these benefits:
- Evaluate and innovate so align values and impact
- Assure gifts match mission
- Expand appeal to employees and candidates
- Relevant qualification process and procedures
- Don’t waste time and money on gifts
- Known as conscientious and fair
- Can direct beneficiaries and organization on how and what to do
- Valuable and relevant gifts happen
- Leaders keep business focus
- Some designate runs the program
- Direction and higher impact
- Receive deserved recognition
- Am I using human resources – volunteering for example – fully?
Purpose-driven mindset is about accomplishing these five goals and address challenges like:
- Clarity – are these the best donations for my business, partner and community relationships?
- Confidence – have I been comprehensive in my review and decision making to benefit my organization, community and market?
- Conscience — am I showing that my organization values its benefactor role in corporate giving and its beneficiaries?
- Compassion – am I showing awareness and understanding of how to make a difference for those in need?
- Community — am I demonstrating my value to and concern for the community?
So, as you consider those strategies and your roles and goals, would you say that you are reaping what you sow in your corporate giving?
If you are, that’s fantastic and what are you doing to ensure that?
And if not, how can you improve your corporate giving?
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