Tag Archives: corporate citizenship

Habits of highly effective giving

 

Like in business, charitable organizations require revenue to not only exist, but to provide support, growth, and opportunity to the beneficiaries they serve.

Billions of dollars are contributed to organizations each year. Some donors may question is this enough or is their contribution needed? However, the more appropriate questions might be “Am I giving to the right organization” and “How effective is my donation”? The answers lie within each donor’s personal path to philanthropy.

For the most part, when donors make a charitable donation, they want to know that they are giving to a good thing and that the money will be used the right way. But, how do donors know this? How can they be assured or satisfied that their donations will be well spent? In our opinion, effectiveness equals donor satisfaction combined with impact and utilization of each gift.

No matter the size of the donation or from whom it is being contributed (business, foundation or community resident), here are our habits of highly effective giving.

Identify the ideal organization

When looking for the right organization to support, start by taking a good look at your interests, connections, goals, and influences. These will help narrow the list of local, national, or global organizations from which to select the one(s) you’ll eventually support. If you need help, contact a nearby leader (such as NPcatalyst), who has access to multiple directories.

Understand the organization’s needs

When you have narrowed the search, take a good look at each organization’s reason for existence, mission, programs, and goals. As you do this, you’ll become more familiar with the organization and, more importantly, identify and understand their needs. If you’re having a difficult time identifying their need for donor and volunteer support, give them a phone call or send an email.

Assess the organization

A critical step of the process is analyzing each organization’s operations and performance. This is where you determine the soundness of their best practices. Be sure to assess the percentage of funds being allocated to programs or services; take a look at the strength of their leadership; and check to see if their policies, procedures, and management practices are up to par. If you would like assistance, contact companies like NPcatalyst, which analyze and rate charities on a regular basis.

Establish a relationship

There’s no finer way to understand an organization than by direct contact. This can be accomplished by sending an email or calling a staff or board member to ask questions, request a meeting, register for a special event, or offer to volunteer. As in business sales, the ideal “transactions” take place as a result of mutually-beneficial relationships. It is a great way to watch the effect of your donation.

Leverage the contribution

Once you have made the donation(s), the fun does not need to end there. No matter the size of the gift, sharing your goodwill should help compel others to duplicate your act of kindness, as well as create greater awareness of the organization. For businesses, it is a great way to illustrate a business’s role in community growth, not to mention its effect in generating new business. By simply updating your “status” via social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) or sending a press release to media or mailing a letter to friends, there is a good chance your gift will keep giving.

Measure the contribution

Similar to assessing the organization (Habit #3), be sure to confirm how the money was allocated within the organization. Whether the contribution was unrestricted or restricted (given for a specific purpose), it is vital that you recognize that the donation was distributed toward its intended purpose.

The significance of each charitable donation is escalated when a donor has a deep understanding of the cause, the organization, and the program(s) being supported. In a very similar approach to building personal relationships, the more familiar a donor is to the beneficiary of the contribution, the more significant and rewarding the gift.

If you have not applied these habits to past contributions, imagine how your giving could have been different. By applying these habits, your future donations will have far greater impact, making your community, country, and world a better place.

 

Charitable Giving…A Wise Investment

As business leaders, we’re often asked to donate to charity. Whether it’s in the form of personal contributions, direct corporate giving or corporate sponsorship, we receive requests on a regular basis.

Having served the non-profit sector for 25 years, I’m continually involved with corporate giving, either as a business owner or charitable volunteer. I’m frequently asked why businesses are called upon as often as they are. What I’ve grown to understand are two primary reasons:
1. Business leaders have direct access to marketing, advertising and charitable budget line items.
2. Business leaders understand non-profits and, in many cases, serve on non-profit boards.

There are many reasons why corporate leaders invest in charitable organizations. Businesses have an opportunity to make a difference and a dollar. Strong corporations invest in not-for-profit efforts to:

  • recognize and celebrate its corporate values
  • emphasize the importance of ethical business practices
  • provide positive public relations
  • build customer confidence
  • enhance employee morale
  • maintain philanthropic goodwill
  • increase sales leads and transactions
  • strengthen the community
  • And, of course, it’s the right thing to do.

All of this points to responsibility…a responsibility of businesses to increase revenues and a responsibility to help others.

Positioning corporate giving to be effective for both the business and the supported organizations is not a difficult process. It can be easily blended with existing marketing strategies or function separately from existing plans. Regardless of its official capacity within your business, here are suggestions to maximize your corporate giving.

  1. Assess current giving. Take a good, hard look at your past and current giving practices. What percentage of pre-tax profits is allocated for charitable pursuits? Review the organizations, purposes and methods of giving; then evaluate the benefits received. Can you identify a relationship to your corporate mission, marketing plan and staff connections?
  2. Design a strategy. As you plan your giving, consider your charitable budget. Identify the projects, organizations or sectors you wish to support. Determine the benefits, particularly outreach, sales leads, visibility and impact you wish to gain.
  3. Monitor contributions. Maintain relationships with the beneficiaries of your charitable investment to ensure proper delivery of benefits, use of funds and public awareness.
  4. Assess and plan. Evaluate the effectiveness of the giving strategy and its execution. Make changes, design a new strategy, identify new beneficiaries; all are actions you will likely address to strengthen your charitable giving plan.

Corporate leaders recognize the difficulty in giving away money, particularly marked by a lack of information, guidance and tools required to make wise decisions. Being able to identify the best for-profit investments is a hugely valuable talent and a massive industry has grown up around it. Solid nonprofit analysis is just as valuable.

No matter what strategy you use to make your charitable giving decisions, it makes good business sense to ensure effectiveness, both to the beneficiary and your corporation. A properly executed giving program will generate tremendous value through community impact and revenue generation.

Community Catalyst Charitable Fund launched

For immediate release

 

Small businesses to make large community splash

 

RENO – In an effort to stimulate the local economy and meet vital community needs, Reno-based NPcatalyst has created the Community Catalyst Charitable Fund for small businesses. Companies with annual revenues less than $500,000 will bind together to meet specific charitable initiatives and programs. The goal is to contribute $10,000 or more to local non-profit organizations each quarter.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our local community”, says Pete Parker, Managing Partner of NPcatalyst, “on their own, they might not be able to make significant and community-enriching contributions.” The unique giving fund provides small business leaders with a greater understanding of non-profit organizations and their specific needs, strength in numbers to meet those needs, and considerable public relations.

Management of the Community Catalyst Charitable Fund will be handled by NPcatalyst, which will track the contributions, measure the allocations, educate the small business participants of community opportunities, and promote to generate exceptional public awareness of the needs and their fund’s participants. The firm is collaborating with the Community Foundation of Western Nevada, which will accept and invest all contributions, thus providing businesses professional management and care of their donated funds. Based upon a vote of all participating businesses, the Community Foundation will process the distribution of contributed funds each quarter.

NPcatalyst is utilizing a 1% of annual revenue giving model to help businesses determine a target amount with which to contribute. The idea is to help local business become strategic with their giving practices. According to Parker, “our goal is to not only provide incredible community impact, but to develop new community leaders, and ignite revenue growth with each of our giving fund participants”.  

To register or inquire about additional information, contact NPcatalyst at 775-333-9444 or info@npcatalyst.com.

 

CLICK HERE to learn more

NPcatalyst introduce a “Community Connection Map” to bolster business sales and community alliances

 

Do you wonder where your staff members volunteer in the community? What about the professional membership and affiliations or the places they network? Do you recognized employees for their community involvement? Have you ever considered volunteerism as an avenue of corporate growth? Have you leveraged your company’s community engagement for positive brand awareness?

The NPcatalyst team has designed a tool which takes a virtual snapshot of a company’s community connection. Through our Community Connection Mapping product, clients receive a “map” of their community leadership. The goal is to empower community engagement and generate increased revenue, and foster economic growth.

We have found that by identifying both existing relationships and new opportunities, our clients are better positioned to strategically target new paths of success. End results include a positive impact on local communities and exceptional value back to the corporation.

The Community Connection Mapping can be applied beyond the workforce. It’s also designed to provide significant value to membership associations, networking groups, and non-profit leadership boards.

To learn more about this unique product, visit www.NPcatalyst.com, email info@NPcatalyst.com or call us at 775-333-9444. Orders placed online receive discounted pricing. Sign up today!

NPcatalyst releases Corporate Giving Resource Guide

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

NPcatalyst releases a Corporate Giving Resource Guide

Reno, Nev.— Giving back to charity, when coordinated in a strategic manner, generates positive and measured corporate growth. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of businesses in northern Nevada have adopted strategic giving plans. NPcatalyst, a Reno-based company specializing in the design and facilitation of philanthropic solutions, has released a ‘Corporate Giving Resource Guide’ to help local businesses generate growth through charity.

“We’ve noticed achievements such as increased revenue, wider reach, retained leadership, greater public image, and strengthened relationships in businesses which craft giving strategies” according to Pete Parker, Managing Partner of NPcatalyst. “Successful companies are aligning their community engagement of volunteerism and financial support with business strategies, customer and vendor relationships, and target markets.”

The resource guide took months to design, but it’s released during a period when northern Nevada business leaders are addressing the area’s economic future. “Last year, nonprofit organizations located in Washoe County generated $1.4 billion in revenue – providing a significant impact on the local economy. Imagine the impact when the philanthropic decisions of businesses and their leaders are strategic, measured and performance-driven?” asks Parker.

The resource guide is available at no cost and can be found on the NPcatalyst website, located at www.NPcatalyst.com. For additional information on how to implement the best practices found in the guide into your business, contact NPcatalyst at 775-333-9444.

Click here for a link to the Corporate Giving Resource Guide.

 

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NPcatalyst, LLC is a Reno-based company which provides philanthropic solutions to non-profit organizations and their supporters. Our charter is to set the standard of philanthropic excellence through effective and value-driven best practices. This is fostered by facilitating an ecosystem between non-profit organizations and their corporate and individual supporters, fueled by active community support and engagement.

      

MEDIA CONTACT

Pete Parker, NPcatalyst

775-333-9444 / pparker@npcatalyst.com

NPcatalyst setting the standard in community engagement, charitable giving

NPcatalyst, L.L.C. setting the standard in community engagement

NPcatalyst, L.L.C. (formerly Parker Development Services), a Reno-based firm, works with corporate and non-profit clients to achieve measured community-driven results. Services feature strategy development, charitable giving facilitation, and public awareness through a best practices-driven model.

Passionate about the non-profit sector, managing partner, Pete Parker, believes active community engagement will positively impact each community’s economy, leadership and charitable outreach. “Our quest is to set the standard of giving and create models of excellence with our clients.” To aid in his quest and provide leadership to businesses of all sizes, he added a partner with extensive corporate management experience.

“I am pleased to be part of this team as I recognize the many benefits corporations can realize through strategic involvement and connections with communities and their many philanthropies”, states Jeff Lenardson, also a managing partner of the firm. With over 20 years of entrepreneurial success in both Southern California and Northern Nevada, Lenardson brings valuable knowledge from the corporate sector. “I also believe in applying best practices and validation to a fragmented non-profit space to help organizations and individuals make informed gifting decisions.”

The NPcatalyst website features a growing list of non-profit organizations seeking financial and voluntary leadership. “Focused and active community engagement builds strong leaders, businesses, and non-profit organizations, which creates thriving philanthropic synergies”, says Parker.

Learn more about NPcatalyst at www.NPcatalyst.com and 775-333-9444.

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About NPcatalyst
NPcatalyst strengthens communities by creating, managing, and leveraging opportunities with its key community stakeholders: individual citizens, businesses, foundations and non-profit organizations. Our charter is to set the standard of philanthropic excellence through effective and value-driven best practices.

What’s Your Philanthropic Footprint?

By Pete Parker

Do you or your business follow a charitable giving “plan”, or similar strategy, to make donations of time and dollar to charitable organizations?

  • If you do, is it working for you…for your business…for the community? Could you (or your business) be leveraging your giving to generate positive awareness, seek new customers, develop new friendships and relationships, recruit quality employees, and community goodwill more than you currently do?
  • If you don’t follow a plan, does this short list of benefits intrigue and interest you?

In the same light, what is your philanthropic “path”? Is it well paved and follow a pre-determined direction? Or, does it veer in several different directions? If you’re like many, your giving might be dictated simply as a result of being asked, regardless of the charitable cause or purpose. I ask because the vast majority of strong charitable organizations value the relationships they develop with their donors and volunteers. In fact, perhaps ideally like you, they’re looking to develop long-lasting and mutually-beneficial partnerships.

Many people and businesses receive requests to contribute to charities on a regular basis. In many cases, donors answer the call to donate money and volunteer their time. Giving triggers a sense of personal satisfaction and encourages us to believe that we’re making a difference and improvement in the lives of those we support. Some of us, though, would prefer that giving be handed according to our own terms and for needs closely aligned with our interests.

So, imagine the difference you can make if you followed a giving strategy…or ‘philanthropic’ plan. I bet you’d create closer connections to the charities (and their leaders) you support and, as a bonus, feel an even greater feeling of excitement through your passionate generosity. This targeted approach to giving enables you to filter your support as well as track your participation. Witnessing the impact created from your involvement is both exciting (via an immediate return) and vital to your future support.

It’s not much different from a corporate perspective, as businesses can create outstanding awareness, generate new leads and sales, recruit and retain top staff, and create fulfilling community partnerships.

So, I challenge you…our current and aspiring community leaders…to take a close look at your giving activities. Determine what’s working for you and if you’re interested in enhancing your “philanthropic” footprint. If you’d like help evaluating your giving practices, take a few minutes to complete a brief Giving Assessment.

Thriving communities rely upon inspired and active community members…aka leaders. What role do you or would you like to play?

Corporate Giving Programs Can Give Businesses a Boost

By Pete Parker.

Creating corporate giving programs can be both exciting and challenging. There are many opportunities associated with advancing the greater good.

Taking the first step towards developing the plan might just be most difficult, yet empowering step taken. Do you hire staff…a consultant…or do it yourself? How much time, energy and funds do you allocate to developing the plan? Whom do you involve? What are your goals? How or do we leverage the giving program for the corporation’s financial growth?

In Susan Hyatt’s “The Benefits of Strategic Philanthropy”, she identifies ten reasons why businesses should implement giving programs. These include enhanced visibility, sales, awareness, productivity and corporate results. These benefits can place considerable impact on the business, positioning it for greater advancement as a corporation and, at the same time, leave an indelible mark within the non-profit sector.

Caroline Preston’s article entitled “Corporate Philanthropy Grapples With How to Create Giving Programs”, she mentions how “many companies are interested in finding models in which they can simultaneously improve the world and their bottom line”. I couldn’t agree more. While there are many altruistic and intangible reasons for business to be more community-engaging, they have a responsibility to increase market share, increase awareness, and meet corporate objectives. Citing a quote from from Ms. Preston’s article as voiced by Akhtar Badshah, senior director of community development with Microsoft, “we need to be careful about whether we’re looking at this as a revenue generator versus profit.”

Corporate giving programs can take various shapes and forms. What’s important is that businesses address their giving situations and assess the many ways a structured program can enhance their corporation both internally and externally.

Corporate Success Can Be Found Through Community, Citizenship

By Pete Parker

Running a business during these economic times has been and will continue to be extremely challenging. Whether it’s managing a large corporation or small business, today’s business leaders must change as the overall business environment changes.  While there doesn’t appear to an ideal formula for success, corporations are beginning to take greater stock in their local communities.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), is not a new term…although it’s beginning to generate greater traction. According to ecomii, “CSR is the concept that an organization has obligations not just to conduct its business and adhere to legal guidelines, but also to look out for the welfare of its employees, the community, and society at large.” Many businesses are making social responsibility a priority, not just to increase bottom lines, but because it’s the right thing to do.

According to a new report by the Conference Board, “a majority of the officials said their highest priority is to better align their company’s giving with its business needs.” Nearly half, for example, said they were placing more emphasis this year on tying giving to brand awareness and visibility.

Creating CSR strategies is becoming increasingly popular, but could also be costly for small businesses. Many, however, are creating corporate “citizenship” strategies, which focus on “creating higher standards of living and quality of life in the communities in which they operate, while still preserving profitability for stakeholders (Answers.com).” Businesses developing citizenship strategies have been focusing on corporate-to-community giving plans, predominantly centering on financial support and employee volunteerism. The Conference Board report also reflected on the importance of corporate volunteerism by revealing that nearly half of the companies plan to increase their efforts to get their empl0yees to volunteer.

As vital as they are to a corporation’s success, many businesses have yet to jump onto the citizenship bandwagon. Proof is found in the recently released 2010 Corporate Social Responsibility Perception Study, which queried the general public during February 2010. Interesting stats were found, including “only 11% of people received communications about CSR from any company in the past year.” However, it was also shared that “70% of respondents voiced willingness to pay more for products from socially-responsible companies.” Bringing things closer to the corporate family, “34% of employees would take a pay cut to work for a socially-responsible firm.”

As the business environment continues to change, the requirement for staying & succeeding in business is also changing. As a result, corporations (small and large) are emphasizing the maintenance of strategic relationship with society and, particularly, their local communities.

Pete Parker is a consultant working with charitable organizations, as well as individual and corporate donors, to design and manage successful philanthropic strategies.