Tag Archives: corporate engagement

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.

Creating an employee volunteer program


Businesses, large and small, have made financial contributions to non-profit, or community-benefit organizations, for many years. It wasn’t until recently that they began to increase their engagement…through volunteerism. Employee volunteer programs are becoming increasingly popular not just with large corporations, but small-to-mid-sized businesses seeking to enhance local communities and embark upon innovative business development initiatives.

Recognizing the trend, particularly through the number of inquiries we’re receiving to facilitate employee volunteer programs, here are simple suggestions to consider when developing a volunteer program at your business.

  • Have a sincere interest in creating change and making a difference as a company;
  • Solicit buy-in and support from executive leaders;
  • Hire an employee and/or select a consultant to create community connections as well as design and manage the program;
  • Set goals and objectives;
  • Consider offering special incentives, such as financial compensation, internal and public recognition, gift-for-hour donations;
  • Map existing employee connections, involvement, and interests;
  • Qualify organizations to ensure appropriate connections and validate purposes;
  • Track volunteer involvement;
  • Promote corporate to community engagement;
  • Evaluate employee volunteer program.


One task that’s not included, but is quite important, is to determine your expectations. Businesses which have identified and, more importantly, endorsed key expectations, such as those listed below, have developed successful employee volunteer programs.

  • Incorporate with core business and  corporate giving strategies
  • Create a healthier workforce
  • Deep understanding of employees;  strong relationships
  • Improve employee and job satisfaction; improved employee communication
  • Network by interfacing with community leaders
  • Show company and community pride
  • Enhance employee recruitment and retention
  • Recognize and address community needs; improve quality of life
  • Positively impact profitability – 81% of corporations focus their employee volunteer programs on core business functions


Community leadership goes far beyond simply making financial contributions. When businesses become actively engaged with community needs, causes, and organizations, incredible synergy is created and becomes contagious. End results include stronger workforces, community connections, and business-to-business alliances.

Think again if you find it strange that NPcatalyst, as a corporate giving consultant, is giving away the “secret sauce” to volunteer programming. It’s possible, but successful programs possess commitment, attention, and organization. This is precisely what volunteer program consultants, like NPcatalyst, provide to its corporate clients.

To learn more about creating a strong employee volunteer program at your business, contact NPcatalyst at info@NPcatalyst.com and 775-333-9444.

Corporate giving-a business can do well by doing good


As an executive of a small to large business, you likely receive many requests for charitable support, either seeking volunteer leadership, in-kind or product contributions, or financial donations. Whichever the case (or all), it is quite possible that a formal giving process or strategy is not in place…or underutilized (or not leveraged). As a result, charitable support from your business may represent more of a burden (or an after-thought) than an act of kindness or, for some, a cost of doing business. Without an effective strategy, your business will not earn near the benefits it deserves from its giving.

It’s well known that businesses give to their communities because it is simply the right thing to do. We found that many business leaders have discovered that a well-thought out and designed giving program can help support their corporate mission and, at the same time, improve the company’s bottom line.

A business can do well by doing good.

If it’s about increasing market share, hiring and retaining quality staff, creating strong business-to-business relationships, improving corporate culture, enhancing public image and, of course, providing outstanding community-beneficial resources and opportunities…you’re on the right path.

For some businesses, giving is based on the old model of “checkbook charity”, signified by simply writing checks for causes and organizations. That model has since morphed into giving programs tailored to align charitable contributions (time, money, in-kind donations) with business goals, core strategies and desired benefits.

Business leaders representing forward-thinking, strategically-motivated charitable giving programs recognize clear connections between corporate health and the health of the communities in which they do business. They understand that corporate giving is not just a matter of conscience: it is also a matter of understanding the congruence of business and community goals.

Learn more about best practices for corporate giving by visiting www.NPcatalyst.com and contacting its managing partner, Pete Parker, at pparker@npcatalyst.com and 775-333-9444. Ask him about his company’s free Corporate Giving Resource Guide.

What are you celebrating today? We’re celebrating our first 2 months of connecting our community.


We’re celebrating the two month anniversary of NPcatalyst’s public launching and excited to report that we’ve:

  • Developed a wildly popular media partnership resource
  • Delivered opportunities to 104 community organizations, businesses and business leaders
  • Generated dozens of new donors and thousands of dollars within a 24-hour period to a local non-profit organization
  • Reached thousands of connections, including current and aspiring philanthropists in 13 different countries, through our social media tools
  • Facilitated a long-term group volunteerism partnership between a local business and local non-profit
  • Created a unique ratings and best practices tool to inspire non-profit strength, performance and funding
  • Linked new volunteer leaders directly to local organizations
  • Distributed a charitable giving guide for businesses
  • Created online giving portals to three community organizations
  • Launched a “mapping” tool to help sales and marketing departments deliver results from new leads


Tremendous credit for our success is due to our forward-thinking and goals-driven partners, collaborators, and clients. You’re all amazing!

We’re very proud of our accomplishments during this very brief period and, as a result of the partnerships we’re currently creating, we expect to report even greater milestones two months from now.  If you’d like to be part of the next list of accomplishments, contact us today by emailing info@npcatalyst.com or calling 775-333-9444.

Your philanthropic partner, NPcatalyst!

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.


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.

Skills-based volunteerism achieves results for non-profits and businesses

By Pete Parker 

Skills-based volunteerism has been around for ages, beginning primarily with pro bono work within the legal sector. In recent years, it has played an increasingly key role throughout the corporate sector.

According to the 2009 Deloitte IMPACT Study, skills-based volunteerism can best be described as:

  • Volunteerism which uses skills, experience, talents or education. Impacts corporations, organizations and individuals. Uses existing skills and develops new ones
  • Volunteerism which finds the intersection of high impact skills that match with characteristics needed by local nonprofits.
  • Individuals who volunteer their skills or talents or experience to support a nonprofit project or organization.

Non-profit organizations are highly driven in realizing their social missions, but they are often faced with business issues that hands-on volunteering cannot address and that financial contributions often cannot meet.

Skills-based volunteering is rapidly gaining recognition as a powerful driver of social impact and business value. “Skills-based volunteer programs provide valuable experiential learning opportunities for employees that build business and leadership skills without the expense often associated with traditional corporate training programs,” said Evan Hochberg, Deloitte Services LP national director of community involvement, in a press release.

The benefits of SBV (Skills-Based Volunteerism) count many and affect both the corporation providing the human capital, as well as the causes and organizations receiving the expertise. Below are just a handful of the benefits:

Corporate benefits of skills-based volunteerism:

  • Enhances existing and develops new employee skills
  • Expands corporate in-kind opportunity
  • Permits more in-depth relationships with non-profit organizations
  • Enhances reputation of company and its values

Benefits to non-profit organizations:

  • Access to needed management skills/expertise
  • An outside perspective on strategic issues
  • Helps solve organizational issues that staff are not able to take on
  • Volunteers = ambassadors, supporters
  • May lead to new donors

According to the Taproot Foundation, a nonprofit organization that makes business talent available to organizations working to improve society, pro bono service deepens your reputation as a good corporate citizen. The Foundation also states that:

  • Surveys show that corporate citizenship is now the top driver of reputation;
  • Companies engaged in corporate social responsibility had a 10-year return on equity that was 10% higher than their counterparts and a 10 year relative return to shareholders that was 65% higher;
  • Most Americans regard the donation of products and employee time more favorably than financial support; and,
  • The dollar valuation of an hour of pro bono service is nearly 10x that of traditional volunteer activities, adding significantly to your annual total community giving and impact.

Corporate leaders are just now beginning to recognize the value of skills-based volunteerism. Whether they hire executive leaders or local service brokers to manage these programs, they are recognizing positive benefits within their companies. “Corporate America has yet to fully tap the benefits of integrating skills-based volunteerism into talent development strategies and programs,” said Susan Burnett, Deloitte Services LP national director of talent development.

The Points of Light Institute, which strives to inspire, equip and mobilize people to take action that changes the world, is a leader in the volunteer-service movement. The organization believes that more agencies must seize the opportunity to leverage talent and that more businesses are eager to activate around their brand and core business.

Don’t hesitate to learn more about skills-based volunteerism and designing effective corporate-community investment programs, by contacting Pete Parker (petep@npcatalyst.com; 775-333-9444).