Corporations do receive an unbelievable amount of requests from nonprofits to give to their causes. Honestly, I have no idea how they can actually go through all of the requests and really give them the due diligence it would take to decide on which nonprofits they, as a company, should donate to.
Corporations give for a variety of reasons, tax deduction, belief in a cause, marketing opportunities, and leverage are just a few reasons why corporations give to nonprofits. There is not one thing wrong with any of these motives for giving. Although it would be great to say that everyone gives out of the kindness of their heart, the facts are there are economic reasons that people give as well, and sometimes it’s the only reason. And that is OK! The reason we have tax deductions and incentives for giving within our system of laws and code is because the government knew that they alone could not possibly take care of all of the needs of every community in the country, nor take care of all the needs of communities in a disaster situation like Katrina, or even, as we have seen recently, taking care of others around the world dealing with natural disasters. Our government didn’t want to tax the citizens as much as was needed and gave us and corporations incentives to give to charity. Sometimes it appears that nonprofits have missed that fact. It also appears that so have corporations and even individuals.
Who do corporations give to?
Well, it depends on how a company is set up. Small and medium size companies tend to give because the leadership of the organization has a personal connection to a cause, Parent or child died of cancer, child has autism, wife has MS, they have Diabetes, etc. Sometimes they give based on their employees passions and giving traits. A Company will focus on Education because most of their employees have children, or give to environmental causes because their employees believe in being “green” or environmentally friendly, or gives to municipal parks and recreation programs because they and their employees have strong ties to local government and the community at large. Other companies give because they will get a financial gain by giving to specific charities that tend to draw a certain demographic of people. A Dog Food company will give large donations of money and food to an animal shelter because it fits their own client demographic, a car company trying to sell mini vans gives to children causes because the parents of those children are within their target demographic, so on and so forth.
Why companies give is not as important as the fact that they ARE giving! And that is especially important here in Colorado where there are 28,000 nonprofits and the individuals and companies in the state are 38th in the country of all states in giving to charitable causes.
Now, there are some things that for-profits and non profits can learn about each other to make giving not only something companies need to do, but something they will WANT to do!
Goals of most companies include, getting in front of a target demographic, decreasing expenses, motivating employees, retaining employees, developing their public image, increasing their visibility, and ultimately, increasing profits. Ok… so this is a DUH moment. I know. But what’s funny is, that most for-profit companies, especially the small and medium size companies don’t realize that they can accomplish all of these goals by simply investing some time in PROACTIVELY finding a nonprofit to partner with.
If you are interested in having your company find out details and/or would like to know more, please feel free to contact us at 303.991.1231 ext 1 or email me at Kwhite@denvergives.org.