Giving purpose to your donation strategy
By Shane Wilson – Special Projects Coordinator
- How do I keep up with all of these donation requests?
- How do I decide which cause is right for my business?
- What if I don’t have enough resources to donate?
- What’s my system of prioritization with local charities/organizational requests?
- How does my business’ current value system match with my donation requests?
- What are some ways I can donate other than a check?
1. Your business should be doing something to give back to the community, in some form or fashion. Beyond the tax benefits and “good will” you build with your customer base, it’s simply the right thing to do. This doesn’t mean that everyone has to cut a check and be done with it – there’s more to it than that. As part of Emporia Main Street’s philosophy, we’re always looking for a value-added benefit when approaching people or businesses and asking them for goods, services, or time. We know it’s important that the relationship be reciprocal in nature; it’s the true definition of “win-win.” In turn, both parties receive value for whatever the transaction may be. This same approach can be taken by your business.
2. Your business’ values should be reflected in your giving methods, medium, and destination. This seems like a no-brainer, but it can get tricky when you’re bombarded with requests, especially around the holidays. In other words, how you give is just as important as what you give. There’s an odd sense of cognitive disconnect when a business starts dabbling in an area that isn’t specific to them or their value system – it’d be weird seeing Mulready’s Pub do raffle drawings for a Miller-Coors event in Golden, CO, just as it’d be strange to see Walmart doing small business workshops.
Believe it or not, your business expertise is in high demand in the community! Offering your unique skill set for charity work is a great way to get involved and provide valuable service. This is essentially a donation of time (and talent), which helps when money is in short supply. Marketing via word of mouth is incredibly valuable, and this sort of donation will give you an ample amount of just that!