How to Find a Charity Partner
Last week we shared an article lauding the benefits of giving back to your local community. And indeed, supporting local charities and/or local non-profit groups that are meaningful to you and to your customers is a great way to stay connected to your community. But how do you choose the charity partner that is right for you and your business?
Here are three questions to help you choose a charity partner:
1. What is important to you, your company and your employees?
Think about the interests and strengths of your company. What does your company stand for? Is there a way to connect that passion to a charitable cause? For example, if you own a small bookstore, supporting literacy or education in your community might be a good fit. Or, if you own a small bakery, why not donate coffee and pastries to the local schools’ PTA meetings?
2. What is important to your customers?
If you live in a community of vibrant and engaged customers, chances are you’ll know what’s important to them without having to ask. Maybe they support the annual arts festival in town, or a particular animal shelter is near and dear to their hearts. Simply asking some of your most loyal customers what local causes are most important to them is a great place to start.
3. What organizations need the most help in your community?
Preferences aside, you could look at the non-profits or charities that need the most help in your community, and focus your time and efforts there. If your city has a large homeless population, why not see about donating supplies or time to a local shelter? Or, if after-school mentorship programs seem to be in demand, contact an organization like the Boys & Girls Club of America to learn more about opportunities in your area.
It’s possible that you’ll find a charity that fits the bill for all three questions, but that’s not a requirement. And while it’s tempting to want to help every cause that’s brought to your attention, we recommend choosing one or two charity partners for all your efforts. This can help focus your time, money and energy to causes that are the most important to your business. Plus, you’ll have a bigger impact when your time, money and donations are limited to a few organizations.