March 10, 2011
Corporate Giving 101
by: Andree Gonsoulin
Sure, you may support your community through in-kind and cash donations. You might support everything in the gamut from little league to leukemia. Afterall, it is the right thing to do. Whether the requests come to you in droves or you seek what you want to support, thoughtful and strategic corporate giving can be a time consuming task that falls on your marketing or administrative offices keeping them from their day-to-day activities.
One small thing a company can do is to create a "Corporate Giving Philosophy” or "Giving Program”- no matter what it is called focusing your giving can be a very helpful tool in kindly declining those droves of offers coming your way.
Here are a few examples of Corporate Giving Philosophies to get you thinking:
PANASONIC: Most people know Panasonic as a manufacturer and marketer of high tech electronic products. Through our outreach, we want to show the side of Panasonic that says we are a company that cares about the communities where we do business. A company that uses its resources, its employees, its products and its facilities to help the residents in our communities.
SHELL:During its more than 50-year existence, the Foundation has contributed upward of $500 million to help foster the general well-being of communities where Shell employees live and work. Contributions have enabled non-profit organizations to grow, encouraged arts and cultural areas to flourish, advanced medical research and sustainable development, helped children achieve academic success, trained teachers, and engendered opportunities for diversity and equal opportunity. Funding activities for The Shell Oil Company Foundation are dedicated strictly to interests in the U.S.
Another opportunity is to connect your company with a local Community Foundation (see Community Foundation of Acadiana). Large or small these Community Foundations are great resources for family and often corporate giving strategy and resources.
One more example of a giving philosophy, it can be as specific or broad as you like:
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people-especially those with the fewest resources-have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life.
If you sit down and look at the previous year’s giving and match that up to what really matters - your corporate giving philosophy- you will soon find that corporate giving will do what it is meant to do - spread your brand, make you feel good, and most importantly, support worthwhile organizations in your community.