Make this year, 2015, “The Giving Year.” As it being tax season at the time of this writing, the easiest solution is to apply some of those refunds (if you are getting anything back) towards a worthy charity or charitable project. But let’s not stop there; all too often we wait until the end of year holidays or maybe some other annual holiday event to demonstrate or exercise a little charity. I’m not saying that this is a bad thing, but even if this is what you or your organization prefers, it still takes a bit of effort and time to gather together sufficient resources in the form of money, materials, supplies, gifts or whatever the recipient needs to make the donation significant.
If you donate regularly throughout the year, several small donations are fine. However, if you are saving up all that effort for one or two big blast donations, pennies just won’t do. Another big holiday seasons is here and another opportunity for your business or organization to exercise generosity, compassion or anything charitable for or to someone or some group in need. Though a single individual might make some positive effect in the world, an organization (business, company, or other organized group of people) can make a huge impact for a charity. What is your organization going to do this holiday season to affect a positive impact in the world? And, what will you do to help this year?
First: Check to see if your business or organization has a charity program.
Second: Identify the benefactor of the Charity; for example:
- Food Drives
- Toys for Tots
- Toys for Homeless or Orphanages
- Corporate Charity Sponsorship Program
- Coat Drives
- Animal Shelter Care Packages and Pet Adoption Drives
- Local Animal Shelter Donations and Support Activities
- Wounded Warrior Program
- Volunteer Programs
- Education Fund drives to provide Holiday Scholarships and Awards to students for a particular sponsored school, school district or community.
- Pay-It-Forward Programs: This is often used in veterinary care hospitals, clinics and animal shelters to help offset the costs incurred by these facilities when animals are dropped off at their doors anonymously or when a pet owner does not have the money needed to properly care for their pet.
Third: If your business, organization or employer does not already have a program of this nature, maybe you could initiate a charitable activity/program, even if it’s a one-time event. Sometimes it only takes one event in a business environment to have it take root for the future; especially if your business takes the opportunity to advertise their involvement to the public and to their customers.
Fourth: If your business, organization or employer has yet to select a charity to support, do some research and see what charities in your area need the most help. Try to determine three to five options and propose them to your organization so that they can decide if they will pick one or more of them. Be sure to include the positive nature and how the charity can help the business’s public image.
Fifth: Take an active role. Volunteer to Organize and manage the Charity Program or at least help put the program together. An organization’s leadership is more likely to say yes to a charity support program when someone else is going to do all the work and they (the business/organization/employer gets all the public credit. It’s just a fact of life; however, you’re not doing it for the personal glory, you’re doing it because there is a real need in the world.
What Fund Raising Methods To Use
- Straight fund raising via donations
- “Go Fund Me” account. www(dot)gofundme(dot)com
- Fun-Runs or Walks with sponsorships
- Bake sales
- Parking-Lot Flea Markets and Craft Fairs: Employees and organization members donate unwanted items, handmade crafts, books, and other donated items to the Charity Committee for sale.
- Company matching funds
- Online Donation Website
- Flea Market and Arts and Craft Fair
It’s Good Business
Charity programs are always great ways for a business, organization and any individual to demonstrate their desire to be a positive influence in the community, as well as how they are seen by their customers. Consider approaching the idea with either the Human Resources Department or the Marketing Department. From a purely self-serving perspective, businesses that participate in charity work can use their involvement in public relations campaigns to boost the organizations public image.
If you’re not a for-profit-business, if you’re a church, religious organization, community group, Scouting program, youth group program, senior citizen group, veterans’ organizations, or any non-profit organization everything listed above is still relevant to your group. I fact, your group should be supporting multiple charity organizations. Although, it’s impractical for youth groups and religious groups are unlikely to be involved in setting up some type of scholarship program, there are many other organizations to include senior citizen and veterans’ organizations to establish an annual cash scholarship award.
These annual scholarship awards can be any monetary amount; they don’t have to be full-ride scholarships. It’s quite common for organizations to award deserving students $5,000, $7,500, and $10,000 dollar one-time awards; just enough to cover a student’s first year in college. Some organizations give out all three amounts as first prize second prize and third prize based on some community relevant contest. One of the most common competitions used is writing contests on some important social or science issue. Other options include science fair completion, art completion, history oriented essay and completion.
There is no reason your business or group cannot take adopt two or three charity and scholarship programs. Just make the effort worthwhile and fun for the organization. The better the experience and the more the participants get to see the results of their efforts, the more they are likely to want to be involved again.
Marketing and Public Opinion
For-profit businesses and organizations, don’t forget to take advantage of the media to advertise your involvement and how your business is helping the community. Businesses that perform charity work and give out scholarship checks can get build a positive image with the help of the press, television, internet blogs, etc.
Who Do We Help
There are a lot of charity organizations in the world; not all are reliable or legitimate. If you are trying to decide on a charity you are not familiar with the CharityWatch(dot)org website can be helpful in ferreting out the good from the bad.