When, Where and How to Start The starting point— You can establish a corporate giving program at the founding of your organization, even if it is small. This makes giving and donating a core value for the company, plus, you can always grow the program as the business grows.
If you need a good launching pad for community engagement, giving back to the community is a great way to strengthen bonds. Once you become more engaged with the needs of your community, you may branch out into other areas of giving that align with your company’s mission. Some more specific community options include Computers with Causes, Online Car Donation, Real Estate with Causes, and so on.
How to Select Your Cause How To Identify Nonprofits — Find a nonprofit that serves a need that reflects the passion and heartbeat of your company. Giving Center helps a variety of causes! From helping needy individuals, families, Veterans, the homeless, victims of domestic abuse, schools, other rescues, and more! They not only reflect consistency in your overall mission, but also makes it easier for your employees to get behind their cause. For example, a computer software company or office can support Computers with Causes through donation via surplus of equipment, product, or computers and printers that are about to be replaced.
When choosing a nonprofit to support, do your homework and select a cause that is making an impactful change. For more information on Giving Center click here. Giving Center is an IRS Approved non-profit charity organization focused on improving the lives of the less fortunate!
In order to avoid mission creep, set some clear parameters determining what kind of cause you choose. For example, the company president may have a pet project, but if it doesn’t fit in the established parameters for giving, then it is much easier to say no.
When the time comes to choose your giving partners, you should ask yourself if you can see your employees connecting with the cause. This will help morale and makes it much easier to build momentum after the initial education phase.
How to Navigate Tax Deductions and Documentation Manage Corporate Contributions — A corporate giving program will allow your company to make tax-deductible contributions to eligible 501(c)(3) organizations that are selected either by the business itself, employees or both. Every type of businesses is able to claim a charitable tax deduction for the amount of money they give to charity. However, there are limitations as to how much is deductible in the current year, it is best to consult with a tax adviser.
A corporate giving program may be structured, this allows employees to contribute up to a certain amount and be matched by the business, which in turn allows the employees to make a greater impact with their charitable giving. You may put parameters around the matching donations. For example, the company might say, “We love dogs and trees, but all matching gifts must go to an area of human need.” This prevents matching donations from going to areas that do not align with the company’s core values.
How to Encourage Participation After the Initial Push Set Goals — It is important to consistently include giving partners in company updates and set clear goals. For example, you might set employee participation targets each year and then give a reward when the goal is met. Have fun with this: Maybe an executive or higher up will shave his longtime beard if the company can beat a participation goal or a another team leader will volunteer to get a whipped pie to the face.
Remember to make it fun! There is a lot of truth to the adage it is better to give than to receive. When you encourage your employees to give and donate by making it fun and engaging, your money will go a long way.