Today is World Humanitarian Day—the perfect time to consider corporate philanthropy and how your company can give back.
As the world becomes a more and more volatile place, this has never been more important. There is an urgent need to realize a greater sense of responsibility and develop a sense of global community.” –World Humanitarian Day website
Productive, efficient, motivated, helpful; these are all common ways to describe office ninjas. Today we challenge you to add altruistic to that list. As the resident ninja, you can create positive change by researching and developing a way for your company to give back. From volunteering in a soup kitchen to making a generous donation, corporate philanthropy is a fantastic way to show the world that your company cares.
Your company can even utilize a combination of programs like Office Manager Angelina’s organization, Social Tables, “My company has a CSR committee. They organize everything from the Ice Bucket Challenge to canned food drives to volunteering sessions at a kitchen.”
We’ve done some digging and we’d like to share with you our findings on corporate philanthropy. Let’s make a difference.
Giving Back: A Solid Investment for Your Company
Corporate philanthropy and corporate social responsibility programs can create a significant, long-lasting positive effect on the community. While it may not seem like it from a financial perspective, giving back is a sound investment for your company. Extensive academic research shows a “positive association between socially responsible initiatives and economic success, particularly in recent years.”
Philanthropy benefits a company on multiple levels from a boost in brand recognition and publicity to higher levels of employee satisfaction and engagement. Donating to local schools is a fantastic way to have an impact on employees and consumers who live in your town.
An Executive Assistant, Lori’s company, Sonic Corp., truly goes above and beyond, “We do a lot of corporate giving and also in-kind donations. We support the arts and education in our home office city. We also sponsor an entire elementary school by providing supplies for the students and teachers, plus tutoring. We have several activities throughout the year where we can go to the food bank, Goodwill, etc., to provide support.”
Finding the Right Charity for Your Company
It’s important to choose a cause that aligns with your brand’s core values. You can even find a foundation or organization that utilizes your company’s unique resources.
Panera Bread did exactly that. Just one of their unique programs is Panera Cares—non-profit bakery-cafes that will feed anyone regardless of their ability to pay. Their dedication to fighting the problem of hunger is directly connected to their place in the food industry and uses resources they already have.
There are a multitude of ways for your company to help out. Like Panera, you can give in-kind donations of your products, employees can volunteer for different charities while on the clock, businesses that sell a service can offer their expertise pro bono to groups in need, and, of course, there are always monetary donations.
If you opt for a monetary donation, it’s important to research how they actually use the money donated to them. So we’ve done a little research (with the help of Charity Navigator) and identified four charities who place a noticeable emphasis on the work they accomplish rather than their admin expenses and internal salaries.
This foundation provides a wounded warrior emergency support fund that provides scuba training and open water certification for veterans with amputations or burns. Diving provides fantastic physical and mental therapy for these wounded soldiers. This would be an excellent charity to support if your company is located in a military town or if your business is somehow connected to scuba diving or the ocean.
This nonprofit organization is dedicated to funding research to eliminate childhood cancer. Their focus is to fund research to find less toxic therapies by working with leading hospitals nationwide. Their website includes resources for companies interested in donating and it would be the perfect cause for a company that works directly with children or creates products for kids.
4 Paws for Ability provides children with disabilities with highly trained service dogs that help them achieve a higher level of independence. Aside from being incredibly heartwarming, 4 Paws also provides a ton of volunteer opportunities for companies that wish to have their employees directly involved with a positive charity effort.
Step Up for Students provides Tax Credit Scholarships to K-12 students who come from low-income families, allowing them to attend private or out-of-area schools that provide a better level of education. Education initiatives are a great option for any company to back. What better way to help ensure the future than helping to educate today’s youth?
There are many other terrific charities to choose from. If your company is looking to help, definitely check out Charity Navigator. A nonprofit themselves, they rates other charities on their financial health, accountability, and transparency. You can even browse rated charities by category (like education, health, or human rights) or search directly.
No matter what charity your company may choose to benefit, let World Humanitarian Day be the inspiration for positive action!