Look for a good partner. Find a nonprofit that will meet your goals and provide opportunities for you and your staff to be involved. An organization that reflects your values. An organization where your contribution will make a difference.
2. Be a good partner. Nonprofits, just like your business, want to work efficiently, effectively and make an impact. Be clear about what you are looking for, but always ask and consider what is the critical need and appropriate need of the nonprofit. Contributing pork and beans to a Jewish or Muslim clientele is not helpful.
3. Think year-round. There are needs and opportunities throughout the year to so something special and meaningful beyond Thanksgiving and Christmas. Think about Superbowl parties, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s/Father’s Day, Summer Picnics, Halloween etc.
4. Do what you can. If you can’t do all that a nonprofit might need, negotiate to make your contribution successful for the both. If you can’t collect the hat and scarf and… collect the items you can.
5. Give money. Cash is a welcome gift and can be empowering to clients to buy their own groceries and not just accept contributions (no matter how well intended they are.) You can do an internal fundraising activity that meets goals of team building and fun.
6. Share your expertise or talent. Just like your business, nonprofits need to expand our capacity to meet critical needs. Pro-bono contributions of expertise and business related gifts-in-kind can allow for greater impact.
7. Have fun. Make your engagement an opportunity for your staff to enjoy themselves. Competitions with prizes can be both a team builder and help strength a connection with a nonprofit. We can help you with suggestions.
8. There is at least one employee who loves to do these kind of things. Remember this is for you and your staff to accomplish. Nonprofits rarely have enough staff to do your project with you. We are there to help, but not to run it.
For more ideas plan to join the Reston Chamber with your other business colleagues for the Corporate Social Responsibility breakfast on 2015 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Breakfast: Giving Back and Making an Impact Friday, January 29, 2016 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Tickets available at http://www.restonchamber.org/events/2015-Corporate-Social-Responsibility-(CSR)-Breakfast-Giving-Back-and-Making-an-Impact-2758/details
Faye R. Codding, Fellowship Square Foundation providing housing and hope for low income elderly and disabled. www.fellowshipsquare.org