Even those charities who have maintained a fairly steady level of people who need their help over the last few years have found themselves in a difficult financial situation. This is because fewer of us have been in a position to make charitable debts that we might previously not have thought twice about. That's why all successful businesses should be doing what they can to help and support charities, perhaps choosing one or two that are very dear to them and either donating, volunteering or fundraising to help them. Here are a few tips to bear in mind when choosing a charity to donate to.
1. Think local
If you are a local business, your customers will want to see you supporting the local area. Have a look around, there are bound to be some great charities that need your help. In the UK, some great examples are animal shelters and charities for the elderly. Animal shelters are often funded through charitable charities. What's more, they often need help with things like dog walking or cat cuddling that you could do for just an hour a week and make a huge difference to the animals in someone's care. Why not release your employees for an hour every week on full pay to walk the dogs in the local shelter? Many studies say that we are all more productive after a bit of light exercise, so your business might even benefit from this decision.
Similarly, charities for the elderly are often looking for people to befriend an elderly person. Could you spare a few of your employees for an hour a week to go and have a cup of coffee with someone who might otherwise not speak to anyone all week? You could also help with fundraising, even if the company can not afford a donation, most staff members love the idea of a cake sale or coffee morning and all funds raised could go to your change charity.
2. Stick to what you know
I am involved in a holiday company, so we are always keen to support charities that work with people in different countries to fulfill their basic needs. This is because many tourist companies take their customers to an area, make money doing so and ignore the fact that people there are living in poverty. As an ethical business, this is something that stuck us as wrong so we decided that this was an area where we should be helping.
3. Go with what you believe in
If you are an avid supporter of cancer charities, you will be of more benefit to a cancer charity than any other. That's because you will personally work hard to help fundraise and make a difference in peoples' lives through that charity. You may think that there is nothing you can do to help, but if there is a particular charity that you believe in then contact them, you might be surprised at what they need. Even if you can not personally help, the chances are one of your employees will be able to so consider releasing them for an hour a week to help out. This is great for employees as well as the people who absolutely benefit – voluntary work looks great on the CV and they are bound to learn new skills.