Take Advantage Of Corporate Philanthropy Trends To Compound The Good!
With a rising interest amongst employees in giving back to their community, it is interesting to look at some of the trends that we, in the non-profit community, have seen in the area of corporate philanthropy. A few of the trends could provide you and your employees with some great opportunities. You’ve heard of compound interest…well, look at these trends as a sort of compound good.
Previously, I “blogged” (CREW Atlanta Blog, December 2015) about how corporations are moving toward corporate social responsibility that includes the preferences of their employees with regard to the types of causes the company supports. That trend has continued, and as a result, many companies have increased their corporate matching programs. So if you work for a large organization, by making a donation and doing the legwork to get that donation matched, you create that compound good effect. This is the simplest way to participate in the idea of compounded good – and it is having a significant, positive impact on the non-profit sector.
Another trend in corporate philanthropy is volunteerism. Again, following the path of moving into the world of social responsibility, companies big and small are seeing the positive results that employee volunteering has on company team building and morale. Simply stated, employees who volunteer together not only feel the glow of individually helping their community, they have a communal glow about their company being committed to helping others. This trend is becoming more and more important to employees as they assess which companies best match what they value – so it can be used as both a recruiting and retention tool. So in supporting non-profits through volunteerism, you have the compound good in the form of building your community and a stronger company team.
And now we are on to the master level of compounded good – corporate and non-profit partnerships. Non-profits and corporations can have different mission and goals, but more and more, the two are coming together to create partnerships that go well beyond corporate financial support. In addition to the traditional corporate sponsorship of a non-profit and participating in basic volunteer programs, companies and non-profits are seeking ways to share their resources to enhance both organizations. The non-profit may be a great resource for the company to build leaders by having them participate on the non-profit’s governing board. The company may share certain business expertise like technology systems or strategic planning that the non-profit lacks. The non-profit offers an extension of their mission to the company that can be used to enhance it in the eyes of their customers and employees. It can also elevate the company and its leadership’s position in the community. In marketing it’s called co-branding, and in the non-profit sector it can be called the ultimate in compounded good.
As we enter National Volunteer Month in April, it may be a good time to contemplate how you and your organization can participate in the concept of compound good by becoming involved in the non-profit world. We, at The Atlanta Women’s Foundation, have been the beneficiaries of much of that good from our years of partnership with businesses such as Kaiser Permanente, The Coca-Cola Company, The Home Depot and many more. The women and girls of Atlanta are better and stronger because of the good we create together!
Kelly Dolan is the Executive Director of The Atlanta Women’s Foundation. She brings over twenty-five years of experience in fundraising, marketing, event planning and non-profit management to her position. A native of Chicago, Kelly began her career at Leo Burnett, the world’s largest advertising agency. After relocating to Atlanta, she worked in marketing and public relations for Macy’s and Wemmers Communications. She then joined Egleston Children’s Health Care System where she became the head of marketing and was part of the executive team that oversaw the merger between Egleston and Scottish Rite as they combined and became Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Prior to joining AWF, she was the Executive Director of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Greater Atlanta Affiliate, the largest breast cancer organization in the state and then the Executive Director for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Georgia Chapter. An active community volunteer, Kelly is a member of the Junior League of Atlanta Community Advisory Board, the Women’s Community Leadership Alliance and the Association of Fundraising Professionals.