Seven Steps to A Successful Corporate Donation Program
WHY SHOULD YOUR COMPANY HAVE
A DONATION PROGRAM?
The benefits of a philanthropy program
far outweigh the costs:
Support the business goals of your
Community & stakeholders value –
and expect – good corporate citizenship
Investment in communities delivers
Build employee & customer loyalty
Reinforce positive brand values
Gain tax advantages & benefits
1. ESTABLISH MISSION & GOALS FOR
YOUR PHILANTHROPIC INITIATIVE
Mission: What do you want to support?
What cause(s): environment, health &
wellness, arts & culture, education?
Broad-based or focused support?
Region and location: Where are your
employees & customers?
We Manage Good.
Seven Steps to a Successful
Corporate Donation Program
Whether you’re launching a new program, revitalizing a stale one, or just want to make
sure you’re following best practices, take a look at this checklist to maximize the impact
of your corporate donation program.
Oakley donates products to
sports-related fundraising events
for non-profit organizations and
builds solid brand reputation as
supporting local communities
where they live and work.
SAP focuses on STEM education
and entrepreneurship. They
fund non-profits and deploy
volunteers with relevant skills
who can support
key causes map to
the interests of your
employees & goals of
do more than make a profit. They
believe companies need to act
responsibly and address issues.
Source: Cone Communications 2015 Global CSR Study.
Goals: What do you want to accomplish?
Employee & customer goodwill & loyalty
Reinforce brand values & build brand
Strengthen relationships with
Level of financial contribution
Distribute excess or perishable
Number of organizations or
Employee participation in
2. PLAN YOUR PHILANTHROPY
How will you provide support?
In-kind products & services
Gift cards, vouchers, coupons
Assemble your team
Who reviews & manages requests?
Who makes giving decisions?
Who will fulfill the requests?
Evaluate your processes
How will requests move from submission to
final decision, follow-up & reporting?
What should decision making process and
How will you fulfill all that you approve?
What are the business critical reporting
Wegman’s provides donations to local
communities and empowers employees
in those stores to make giving decisions.
This commitment to philanthropy is a key
reason that Wegman’s is one of the most
loved grocery chains in the country.
Think about what you can provide.
Wyndham Hotels donates hotel reward
points, Kohler donates plumbing fixtures,
Waste Management donates garbage
disposal services to fundraising events and
SAP donates software to schools.
to promote your giving
non-profits to support and
volunteer for programs.
& aren’t just
Plan for a system
that supports the way
you work. Eliminate
inefficiencies so you can
focus on your mission,
How will you engage with submitters?
Clearly communicate mission, criteria for
support & response processes
Decide when & how will you add a personal touch
Be timely in your responses
Provide support & answer questions
Be flexible as your giving program evolves
How often should you meet to discuss
What systems are in place that will
need to be changed and how?
3. BUILD YOUR IDEAL SYSTEM
Streamline your program with an
Standardize how & where you receive requests
Eliminate ad-hoc spreadsheets, emails
& paper proposals to reduce errors and
Logistics of how to best follow up with each
Ask the right questions & set expectations
Use an initial eligibility quiz to ensure
requestors fit your criteria and to save their
time & yours
Develop an online questionnaire for
donation requests to collect the right
information to show you’re meeting goals
Confirm submission & set parameters
Route information to the right team
members for review & response
Individuals or commitees
Corporate or regional
Automate your processes to reduce
Increase responsiveness with submitters
to build brand trust
The Safeway Foundation’s website details
their focus areas for support, what they
can’t support, general guidelines for the
donation/funding process and how to
apply online. They ensure that all criteria
are available upfront to all submitters.
Discover asks all submitters to fill out
an eligibility quiz including a number
of questions. When organizations are
found to be ineligible, customized
messages explain the reason support
can’t be provided. Discover is up front
with its criteria for support and clearly
communicate with submitters.
or letter can
make a big
Don’t wait to
start until you get
every detail just right.
Jump in, learn &
adapt as you go.
Set goals for
and resources to
ensure a smooth
know what you’ll
need from them at
every step in the
process & what they
can expect from you.
Know the status
of any request or
donation & who
Add links on
Contact Us page
or FAQ section.
Free up time to focus on programs, not
Filter & score requests to increase quality &
Make better decisions and be more consistent
4. ESTABLISH YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE
& BUILD AWARENESS
A dedicated web page tells your
philanthropic story & enhances your brand
Mission & clear criteria for support
Consistent look & feel
Support overall brand messages
Tell stories & give examples of your work
Make it easy to find your program
Link to your dedicated page on your website
Promote your dedicated page on social media
Educate your employees to encourage
them to spread the word
In person or video
Help them share stories on social media
JetBlue’s philanthropy program has
three key elements: engage employees,
support local charitable organizations
and provide ticket vouchers for
fundraising auctions to increase
visibility for their philanthropy
program. JetBlue receives thousands
of requests for ticket voucher
donations. They rely on online tools
to “score” proposals, saving time &
improving decision-making. Their
online system cuts out the noise & lets
the requests that fit their criteria filter
to the top for review.
Don’t worry if you
don’t have everything in
place. With the right system,
you can make changes &
additions as you learn & your
program grows. The important
thing is to get started,
even if it’s small steps.
6. UNDERSTAND & COMMUNICATE
Follow-up after each donation
How many people were helped and how?
How much money was raised?
How many people attended an event?
How was your product used (raffle, auction, etc.)?
Tell a great story
Collect pictures, quotes, videos, etc.
Communicate to your team, management
The power of a good report
Gain insights on your results
Where are you having the most impact?
Which opportunities are aligned most
closely to your goals?
7. INCORPORATE WHAT YOU LEARN
TO IMPROVE YOUR PROGRAM
Make better decisions on who & what
Are you starting to create the change you want?
Are you accomplishing your goals?
Are your employees engaged with the program?
Do your employees and customers recognize
the good work you are doing?
Maximize the benefits of your
Are there other ways you can provide support?
Are there other processes that can be improved?
Can your online system be streamlined further?
Increase your impact!
What other results would you like to collect?
How else can your results be communicated?
The Safeway Foundation uses “story
banking” to collect photos, videos and
quotes from their community partners
in an online system. These media
pieces are used to supplement the
results & tell a powerful story about
stories to your
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