A question I am often asked is whether or not it is appropriate to publicize a company’s charitable giving. Most companies that make these donations or other contributions to an organization are humble in nature and don’t feel comfortable intentionally sharing news that may seem on the surface to be self-serving.
When it comes to our clients, I always let them know that it is a good idea to share your company’s philanthropic giving. Using these donations can prove to be beneficial not only to your company, but to the nonprofit organization as well.
Positive publicity for a nonprofit organization can help them raise awareness. Most nonprofits operate strictly through volunteer efforts and aren’t able to afford a public relations agency. A story in a local newspaper about your company’s charitable donation can help shine a positive light on the organization and help them increase their donations.
Showing your company gives back to the community you serve can create loyalty among your customers and employees. It can help your business build a lasting legacy in your community.
In addition to showing your company’s charitable nature, it can also assist in recruiting potential employees. People want to work for a company that gives back, and this is one way you can stand out from your competition.
Choosing the right nonprofit organizations
Choosing the right organizations to help may not be an easy decision for your company. Business owners are often bombarded with requests to donate to various causes. It could be a request to sponsor a local Little League team, help an elderly homeowner, or even supply a local food pantry with canned food donations.
The opportunities to give back are endless, but it is important to choose organizations that best reflect your company values and situations where you can have a direct impact on them and the community.
One strategy we often recommend to our clients is to create a list of important causes to you and your employees. Then narrow the list to two broad overarching areas or themes. In our case, it was issues impacting children and animals. Using this technique could help you find causes you want to support as well.
And, while there is no right or wrong way to be charitable, limiting your support to a few organizations can be more impactful than supporting 50 different ones. A check for $5,000 or $10,000 to one nonprofit can make a far bigger impact than a $500 check to 10 organizations.
Highlight the nonprofit in your communications
One mistake some companies make when promoting their charitable contributions is making the story all about the donation. This can be seen as self-serving. Instead, focus on the nonprofit’s story and how the donation can benefit them.
Let’s say that you choose a local animal shelter and donate a sizable check. The press release could focus on how the animal shelter will use the money. While your donation may be a part of the story, the real story should be about the animals you are helping. Your company will still be recognized by the community as someone who cares about the organizations in your local area.
Positive PR is a great way to build momentum for your company and show your core values to the community you serve.
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