|The ACF team after the Free to Breathe 5K for lung cancer research|
The holiday season is a time for reflection and many small businesses are looking for a way to give back to those that are less fortunate. In 2010, nearly $300 billion dollars were donated to charity and numbers appear to be around the same this year.
At the beginning of 2011, ACF made a commitment to give back to our community, a goal we’ve proudly achieved. We knew it was impossible to give to every charity, so we spent some time researching different charities to find the matches that were best for us. Through our research, we found a variety of non-profit organizations right in our area that needed help. We didn’t realize how many great organizations were right in our back yard and were excited to help in any way we could.
If your company is looking for a way to give back this holiday season, here are some tips to help you choose the perfect charity.
Clarify your values
The charity you choose should be in line with your company’s values. Use your mission statement as a guide to help you connect with organizations that fit best with you. Guidestar.org and Charitynavigatior.org are two great resources that can help guide you to the right charity.
Get employee suggestions
Your employees are the heart and soul of your business, so welcome all of their suggestions and concerns. Find out the interests and causes that they are passionate about and work together to get suggestions on how to give back. Choosing a cause that your employees care about helps get everyone excited and will yield higher participation.
You don’t have to donate tons of money or time to make a difference. There are plenty of easy ways you can give back that are still fulfilling.
- Have all your employees bring in a canned goods to donate to a soup kitchen
- Gather old clothes to donate to Goodwill or The Salvation Army
- Donate blood to your local blood bank
- Drop off toys to a children’s hospital or Toys for Tots
Have a leader
No matter what your company decides to do, it’s helpful to have a leader. The leader should be in charge of contacting the charity, scheduling dates and times to donate and answering any questions employees may have. The more organized you are, the easier it will be for everyone to participate.
Get the word out
Let people know about the charity work you are doing! Not only will it show the great work you are doing, but it could get other people interested in helping as well. Promote the charity through your website, company newsletters, and social media sites; and don’t forget to take pictures at the event!
Donating to charity is a great way to give back to an organization or cause you feel passionate about. There are a variety of ways your business can help this holiday season and you don’t need a big budget to help make a difference.
How have you given back this year?