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Seven Steps to A Successful Corporate Donation Program


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We have gathered insights and best practices from supporting hundreds of corporate donation programs with our CSR management solution. Here are seven key steps to maximize your impact!

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Seven Steps to A Successful Corporate Donation Program

  1. 1. WHY SHOULD YOUR COMPANY HAVE A DONATION PROGRAM? The benefits of a philanthropy program far outweigh the costs:  Support the business goals of your organization  Community & stakeholders value – and expect – good corporate citizenship  Investment in communities delivers business value  Build employee & customer loyalty & retention  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 those community organizations. Consider how key causes map to the interests of your employees & goals of your business. of people surveyed expect companies to do more than make a profit. They believe companies need to act responsibly and address issues. Source: Cone Communications 2015 Global CSR Study. 91%
  2. 2.  Goals: What do you want to accomplish? Employee & customer goodwill & loyalty Reinforce brand values & build brand Strengthen relationships with community partners Level of financial contribution Distribute excess or perishable products Number of organizations or people supported Employee participation in giving programs Brand impressions 2. PLAN YOUR PHILANTHROPY INITIATIVE  How will you provide support? In-kind products & services Gift cards, vouchers, coupons Cash contributions Sponsorships  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 criteria be? How will you fulfill all that you approve? What are the business critical reporting requirements? 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. Encourage employees to promote your giving program, recommend non-profits to support and volunteer for programs. Authentic philanthropy programs support company values & aren’t just PR-driven. A cross- functional team brings varied perspectives. Plan for a system that supports the way you work. Eliminate inefficiencies so you can focus on your mission, not administrative tasks.
  3. 3.  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 program changes? What systems are in place that will need to be changed and how? 3. BUILD YOUR IDEAL SYSTEM  Streamline your program with an online system Standardize how & where you receive requests Eliminate ad-hoc spreadsheets, emails & paper proposals to reduce errors and unnecessary steps Logistics of how to best follow up with each approved recipient  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 for timing  Route information to the right team members for review & response Individuals or commitees Corporate or regional  Automate your processes to reduce administrative tasks 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. A personal phone call or letter can make a big difference to a non-profit partner. Don’t wait to start until you get every detail just right. Jump in, learn & adapt as you go. Set goals for response regarding decisions. Don’t leave submitters hanging! Educate submitters; provide guidelines and resources to ensure a smooth process. Let community partners 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 is responsible
  4. 4. Add links on your Community Relations page, Contact Us page or FAQ section. Free up time to focus on programs, not program management Filter & score requests to increase quality & accountability 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 Incentives Help them share stories on social media 5. 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. Go Live!
  5. 5. 6. UNDERSTAND & COMMUNICATE YOUR RESULTS  Follow-up after each donation for results 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 & community  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 to support 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 philanthropic investment 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 Safeway’s support. Send any stories to your communications/ marketing team for promotion. Report across entire portfolio Philanthropy LifecycleMeasure performance/ impact Improved visibility/ decisions Filter for top opportunities Route to teams/regions Track post event results Requests in via consistent format 877-712-9495 •