Businesses are beginning to understand that they need to have a corporate mission and a philanthropy to compete in today’s world. In addition to solving an immediate problem, younger generations insist that the companies they choose play a role in helping better the world in some way. And having a giving philosophy helps motivate employees to bond behind a shared cause.
When deciding which philanthropy or philanthropies your company will support, however, there is a right way and a wrong way to proceed. One of the most important factors to keep in mind is ensuring that your giving program supports your overall brand.
SignUpGenius.com offers 20 Tips for Establishing a Corporate Giving Program. My takeaways for ActionCOACH are:
1) Start at the beginning – when you create your company, determine what the mission of your company will be. This will help embed your core values into every decision that your company makes. For ActionCOACH at large, that vision includes alleviating world abundance. The mission incorporates the 14 points of culture.
2) Go local AND think globally – if your company sells services or products locally, then by all means make sure your giving program benefits your local community. If you have a national or international customer base, on the other hand, then a national or international charity might be more appropriate. Many coaches focus on their local or regional market, while sharing the vision of world abundance. With a nonprofit like ActionCOACH Foundation, you can get free training for a school or other group in your community AND help provide financial support for worldwide endeavors.
3) Avoid mission creep – if someone in the company has a pet project, good for them. Encourage them to pursue it personally. It should only be part of your corporate giving IF it aligns with the company’s brand and mission. Doing anything else waters down the company’s brand and can eventually create confusion in your marketplace. If your ActionCOACH brand revolves around business education, finding ways to promote the value of free or pro bono business training or coaching is a great way to align with and magnify the value of your service while demonstrating a giving heart to the community.
4) Be selective with your cause – whatever cause, or causes, you select, make sure your employees can connect with them. Then you will be able to build momentum within your organization and you will have successfully created a natural morale-booster. Of course, if your employees are on board with the company’s values when they accept employment with you, then it will be natural for them to get behind a charity that embraces the same values. Either way, make sure you do your homework before aligning your company with the charity so that your company’s mission and values align. Within ActionCOACH, we have the ActionCOACH Foundation. The Foundation offers free business education to young adults to help educate future entrepreneurs and employers. It also supports coaches with content that customizes the ActionCOACH model for nonprofit coaching.
You also want to ensure that your employees’ contributions, as well as your corporate donations or sponsorships, make an impact. It’s a good idea to check out your potential partner with one of the charity watchdog groups like charitynavigator.org or charitywatch.org to ensure that the funds are supporting the cause and not a bloated infrastructure.
If you are looking for a philanthropy that supports ActionCOACH values, I can’t think of an easier or more impactful choice than the ActionCOACH Foundation. Of course, I might be a little biased. Obviously, your company can build a corporate giving program with more than one nonprofit, again, based upon your core values and service offering.
Regardless of which charity or charities you choose, create a formal plan to support the nonprofit(s). Incorporate employee and client giving options into the plan with a possible match program from the company. Find ways to make an impact locally, as well as globally. And share stories of the impact made so everyone can feel the glow.
When we share the results of the giving by all ActionCOACHes and Master Licensees in the ActionCOACH family, we can see the full impact of our joint giving. This kind of impact fosters a positive response locally, regionally, globally and within each of our companies. No one by themselves accomplishes as much as we can when we stand together.
To learn more about ActionCOACH Foundation, visit the website at www.actioncoachfoundation.org
ActionCOACH is the largest and most successful business coaching franchise in the world. With more than 27 years of experience, ActionCOACH has more than 1,000 coaches operating in more than 70 countries who work with more than 18,000 business just like yours every day. Learn more today. Actioncoach.com.
Karen Callahan is the Program Coordinator for ActionCOACH Foundation (photo attached). Link name to the Leadership page: https://actioncoachfoundation.org/board/