How to Choose Charities for Corporate Philanthropy

by Thom Tracy

2 min read

Many companies take the initiative to support charitable causes as a part of their business philosophy. These pursuits might be extend to employee monetary donations or time volunteered by the company at a local food pantry or homeless shelter. Whatever activity you choose, the question arises as to which charities appear to be the best fit for your charitable campaigns. Randomly picking a worthy cause to support does not always work out as the best method of beginning your philanthropic efforts. Instead, take some time to evaluate where organizations rank on accomplishments and which of those concerns resonate with you and your employees.

Make It Personal

In a small business environment, it’s highly likely that some of your employees already involve themselves in charitable work. That participation might stem from personal passion or having a friend or family member who is directly affected by the cause. An employee may have a son or daughter with a specific physical or mental condition that needs funds to support research for treatment. Those causes hit close to home among co-workers. Choosing to support charities that have personal ties often turns out to be highly successful. You will witness higher levels of employee engagement along with a boost to company morale.

Keep It Local

If you operate in a defined geographical area, take on causes that have roots in the community. There’s really no sense in raising funds for an animal shelter that is a thousand miles away from your place of business. It’s important that employees and clients feel connected to the charity in some way. They may have adopted a pet or know someone that volunteers in that shelter. Local charities are at least more tangible than other causes whose work may be well-respected but whose distance creates a bit of a barrier. Your campaign may even spark more on-site volunteerism outside of working hours.

Know Who You Are Supporting

There are thousands of charitable organizations across Canada. Some nonprofits may be more worthy than others, and some may not be worthy at all. Perform your due diligence when choosing a charity to adopt. Several websites exist to make that research easy to accomplish. Charity Intelligence Canada makes online financial reports available to the public and also affixes a star rating to each listed charity. If you can’t find such information, or if the charity hesitates to provide an accounting of donations, that should send up a red flag and redirect your search elsewhere. Making a bad choice has obvious implications, and it may also sour any future efforts to gain employee buy-in. When looking for a charity to support, don’t leave your selection to chance. Mistakenly getting involved with a corrupt or bogus organization reflects poorly on your public relations efforts and leaves employees questioning your decision-making abilities. Carefully choosing local, transparent charities with personal and community connections allows for a greater chance that your campaign will be successful.

References & Resources

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