In the year 2014, U.S. corporations donated more than $18 billion to nonprofits — and billions more if you include the value of employee volunteerism. Philanthropy has become a staple in the corporate world, as successful companies are beginning to see the benefits of committing to nonprofit organizations. Business strategies now include components of citizenship and strategic giving.
Corporate giving can benefit your organization, as more and more corporations are choosing to opt into philanthropic efforts. When seeking out corporations to benefit your organization, keep these things in mind:
- Keep the corporation’s reasons in mind.
Corporate involvement in the philanthropic world is different than personal involvement. Motivations are different in corporate situations. Although they do want to make a difference and contribute to the greater good, corporations are ultimately looking for positive benefits for their entity’s bottom line. Keep this all in mind when communicating with them or asking for donations. You may have to tweak your messages for corporations, so pay attention to word choice and professionalism.
- Identify their stakeholders.
Stakeholders are any individuals or groups who affect (or are affected by) the business and its activities. There are internal stakeholders, which include employees, executives, directors, and possibly shareholders. External stakeholders include customers, neighbors, activists, community leaders, etc. It is important to become familiar with their stakeholders, because they may have ties to your cause. People in head positions may also have the power to control giving, and if you become familiar with executives, larger giving may ensue.
- Engage their stakeholders.
Interactions with stakeholders are crucial to contributions. Businesses hold a plethora of resources to contribute to organizations like yours, and if you recognize this through strategic interactions, these resources could benefit your organization greatly.
- Be Authentic.
Even though you are interacting with a corporation, it is important to be consistent with authenticity and credibility from your organization. Be professional, yet friendly and grateful. They will be more likely to give again, and will encourage their stakeholders to donate their time.
With billions available in the corporate giving world it is important for your organization to engage and educate themselves about corporate giving. With these simple tips, your organization will be seeing donations in no time!
About the Author: Hannah is an undergraduate at The University of Iowa. She studies Communication Studies and Journalism. She hopes to one day work in Fashion Public Relations.