‘Tis the season for spreading good cheer … but it is also the Giving Season!
Roughly 40% of all donations received by nonprofits each year are given in the month of December, which means approximately $164 billion will be donated in the next month to nonprofits across the country. However, fewer than half of households in America give to charity and according to Philanthropy Trust, only 25% of Americans volunteer their time and talents. Finally, according to Giving USA’s 2018 report (on 2017 giving), fewer than 6% of all corporations give to nonprofits (eekk!).
First, set a budget of time, money or both! As business owners and leaders, we are intentional in our professional lives – from employee management to expanding our bottom line. Take a similar approach to giving. Allocate a specific amount of time and funds to be given either throughout the year or at year’s end. That way, come December 30, you aren’t scratching your head saying ‘what were we supposed to be doing?’
Involve your team. By inviting your employees to participate in giving back, you are spreading the good cheer more widely. Start by taking a survey to get an understanding of what causes your employees care about and how they might want to get involved. Instead of telling them what causes to care about – let them tell you! It helps lay the framework for greater corporate philanthropy.
Research, Research, Research. Test drive before you buy! Researching nonprofits can be daunting as there are so many nonprofits to choose from. Guidestar is the largest source of information on nonprofit organizations including financials, board listings, and general contact information. You can sort by region and cause type to find a local nonprofit that matches your interests.
Giving back to your community has proven to boost employee recruitment and retention, and to raise brand awareness. Better yet … it makes the community around you a better place for your employees, clients and customers. That kind of ROI is hard to replicate!
This season, in addition to the many gifts you will give to loved ones, please consider giving to the nonprofits who give so much to those with so little.