Combining your small business with a charity venture is a kind, generous, and strategic implementation of your business. According to the United States Small Business Association, “85 percent of consumers have a more positive image of companies who are philanthropic.” When planning your donation, there are a few important factors to consider:
- Is the charity actually a legal 501(c)3 charity under the government? If not, your donations may not actually be tax deductible, and worse, they may not actually be going to charity.
- How much of your donation is actually going to benefit the cause? Using a website like Charity Navigator can help give you a financial breakdown of where your money is going.
- Are you planning a one-time donation or an ongoing donation? Understanding this can help focus your marketing strategy.
- Is the charity aligned with your branding? You want to pick a charity that your target customer will care about (not that all charities aren’t important), but an organization that will spark the pathos of your particular company. For example, if you’re a company with beach branding, a charity that helps clean water or ocean life would make more sense than saving snow leopards.
Once you’ve found a charity organization that is suitable, you should contact their ambassador director or donations director. Have a conversation with this person to explain your plans (ongoing or one-time donation) and to inquire about any permissions you will need in order to use their logo or their name in your marketing.