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.
See the Charity & Community Give-Back Guide for the comprehensive approach to this topic.
Selecting a charity / non-profit partner can be fun, exciting, and rewarding for all involved.
By the way, most charities are registered as non-profit organizations. You’ll find the terms charity and non-profit almost interchangeable.
Use the Community Assessment portion of the Step-By-Step Guide to help you identify the local charities and non-profit organizations in your area.
Consider choosing one or two charity partners for all your efforts. This can help in directing your Donations and Volunteering, and create a “charity platform” for your business.
- Look for charities that your customers are interested in.
- What types of organizations are your employees excited about?
- Make sure the charity is a match for your company. For example, a pet store is a perfect fit to partner with a local animal shelter. A bar or pub partnering with Alcoholics Anonymous – while a great cause – is confusing.
- Pick a charity that can use your help. This sounds obvious, but – for example – if you’re a retailer who can donate products as prizes for a charity auction, that’s a great fit. On the other hand, donating food is only helpful if that is what a charity needs.
- Pick A Small Charity – If you’re only able to raise a few hundred dollars (which is still great, by the way) that money will be much more appreciated by a smaller, local charity. Pick a charity in proportion to your ability to give. It’ll feel nice to know you’re making a difference no matter what size donation you’re able to give.
Resources in the United States
Use the Guidestar website to verify if the organization you wish to donate to is a non-profit, registered as a 501(c)(3).
Great Non-Profits Website
GreatNonProfits.org is an awesome resource to find a non-profit. Put in your zip code and check off your areas of interest – from animals to water – and you’re “matched” with a great list of resources.
Use Google to search for your city name and “charity” or “donations” or “giving.” For example: “Seattle Charities” / “Seattle Giving”
Resources in the UK
The Charity Commission for England and Wales has all the information you need to find charity information. Use their “Find A Charity” link to search.