Tag Archives: foundation

Strategic philanthropy creates outstanding opportunities for communities and businesses

Strategic philanthropy is an excellent way to combine company goals with a desire to create charitable goodwill. It’s meant to foster company business growth through targeted giving that corresponds to company interests. At the core of its design, strategic philanthropy is result-oriented, targeting specific goals; developing defined strategies; measuring progress; and determining success.

Companies utilizing philanthropic strategies offer employees opportunities to challenge themselves professionally through community leadership and volunteer pursuits. Community engagement presents opportunities to increase productivity and a competitive edge in recruiting and retaining skilled leaders. With an active community engagement program, companies benefit from team-building, leadership development and an employee-base of corporate ambassadors. This translates into bottom-line results for companies represented by satisfied employees, loyal customers and a strong community connection.

For companies seeking growth through strategic community impact, success is measured as much by social benefit as it is by improvements to the bottom line. Aligning corporate contribution with business objectives and interests is core to strategic philanthropy. These companies can indirectly market products and services, often to clearly defined market segments.

Creating a philanthropic strategy for you or your business is relatively simple. It starts by making a commitment to an effort driven at corporate growth and community impact. It continues by hiring a staff member or philanthropic advisor (like NPcatalyst), who will provide leadership and guidance by:

  • Assessing your philanthropic activity and culture
  • Understanding the local community
  • Identifying your connections, interests, community involvement, target audiences and business strategies
  • Designing the philanthropic strategy with measureable goals
  • Facilitating giving through the proper processing of solicitation requests
  • Measuring employee volunteerism and board leadership
  • Leveraging total community engagement for greater public image, customer loyalty, employee retention and, most of all, community impact.


Strategic philanthropy initiatives should serve as a link between core business strategies, community needs and personnel involvement. Through these connections, communities strengthened through their non-profit organizations gain long-lasting benefits and businesses generate growth through increased sales and revenue, and the active volunteerism of their employees.

Non-profit sector provides economic strength


Attending the Reno 2020 Forum last week reminded me of the impact the non-profit sector has on local communities. I was impressed by the Forum, but was disappointed by the absence of the words “non-profit” and “community organizations” from the dialogue.

Local economies are driven by the public, private and non-profit sectors. As local residents know, the non-profit sector in Washoe County is diverse and growing. Contributing to the overall health of our economy, non-profit organizations generate revenue from outside sources, provide jobs, and circulate money through the economy.

I’ve spent my entire career in the non-profit sector because of my belief that its organizations provide tools for community building, foster civil society, and strengthen our social fabric, making northern Nevada an incredible place to live and work.

As I was sitting among well over 200 other leaders at the Forum, I used my Blackberry search the National Center for Charitable Statistics to substantiate my thoughts about the significance the non-profit sector plays on the local economy.

I found an impressive number of charts, which provided a wealth of information including one illustrating the growing number of non-profit organizations in northern Nevada.

Year #Charities
1995 1,316
2000 1,520
2005 1,744
2010 2,093


That’s a very large number of organizations seeking to improve our local quality of life. As of November 2010, there were 2,093 non-profit entities located in Washoe County.

One other chart was even more impressive. To preview, the Center’s charts broke its reports down to three different types of non-profit organizations, described as:

  • Public (501c3) Charities include most nonprofit organizations involved in the arts, education, health care, human services, and community service, as well as many others;
  • Private (501c3) Foundations primarily include organizations that make grants to other nonprofits;
  • Other (exempt) Non-profits registered with the IRS include trade unions, business leagues, social and recreational clubs, and veterans associations classified under varying sections of the IRS code.


Type of Non-profit Organization # Filed Form990 $ Assets
Public (501c3) Charities 815 $ 1,970,798,737
Private (501c3) Foundations 212 1,965,018,292
Other Non-profits 436 311,675,867
All 1,463 $ 4,247,492,896


Of the 2,093 non-profit organizations located in Washoe County, exactly 1,463 organizations filed Form 990s. As of November 2010, the combined revenue of charities which filed was $1,394,459,945 for the previous twelve months.

The figures are correct. The strength of the organizations which filed 990’s is noteworthy, as they hold over $4 billion in assets and generate nearly $1.4 billion in annual revenue.

The non-profit sector not only represents a significant amount of the employment and wages in Washoe County, but also contributes to quality of life issues. Northern Nevadans have access to quality healthcare, education, job training, social activities, and recreation because of this important sector of our economy.

When looking at the non-profit sector, it’s time to recognize it as not just a source of outstanding community support, but a sector of strength and economic importance.