Choosing a philanthropy to support as a business is different than choosing one to support as an individual. While there are a few things to consider prior to choosing a philanthropy, similar values are the most important. Especially if the business is asking its customers to be involved, it is important to make sure that the business is giving to a philanthropy that matches the business at some basic levels.
For instance, a business that focuses on the educational needs of children could easily partner with a philanthropy that builds schools in third world countries. This would be a perfect fit because the business customers and employees would already be tied to the educational process. On the other hand, if the business chose a philanthropy that helps addicts recover, it could be a difficult partnership because there are no similarities between the two. Here are three other things to take into account when choosing philanthropy for a business to support.
- The Timeline of Impact
True impact in philanthropic terms takes time, but short-term wins are important also. Hosting a service activity for customers and employees at a local non-profit is an example of a short-term win that could turn into a long-term impact. The key is to be in it for the long-term but to celebrate short-term wins along the way.
- The Type of Impact
It is important to explore this topic with honesty from a personal and business perspective. If a company wants to explore philanthropic endeavors primarily to help the business and create positive publicity, that is ok and even encouraged. On the other hand, if the business decides to pursue philanthropy for the sake of helping a non-profit, it will be a more difficult and more worthwhile thing.
- How a Philanthropic Partner Should Look
It is vital for a business to find the right partner. This goes deeper than the above mentioned “similar values” concept. Businesses that operate on a for-profit basis often have different definitions of success than their nonprofit brethren. A for-profit business is results-oriented and can only succeed if they produce a good product. A nonprofit business, on the other hand, can operate without ever producing a product or reaching a goal as long as it continues to raise funds. It is important for a business to partner with a nonprofit that shares its values or frustration will set in.