Recently, the Chronicle of Philanthropy has compiled a comprehensive list of Fortune 500 companies that have donated the most amount of funds to charities and various philanthropic causes last year.
Goldman, the fourth biggest corporate donor of 2015, is also guiding the market with regard to economic growth. According to a report conducted by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the corporate giant gave $276.4 million in cash in 2015. This donated amount is 10% more than was the firm had given the previous year.
To compare, in 2014, the California based biotech company named Gilead Sciences gave the most monetary contributions. According to various reports, Gilead Sciences had contributed over $446.7 million to a plethora of causes. The other companies in the top five were not industry specific, with brands ranging from retail to international petroleum corporations. Within the top five in 2014 consisted of companies such as Walmart totaling $301 million, totaling $281.2 million, and ExxonMobil with $268 million.
Similar to Goldman Sachs, various other Fortune 500 corporations have reported that philanthropy and social responsibility programs helped their business expand and flourish in various internal areas. Specifically, these areas include employee satisfaction, increasing overall customer loyalty, and reducing issues or problems that could potentially become liabilities. The prime example of this particular success story is Walmart.
Walmart’s CEO, Douglas McMillon has guided the creation of the company’s charitable arm, the Walmart Foundation. The Walmart Foundation has unveiled a $100 million pledge to make retail jobs more attractive industry-wide by increasing wages and generating more flexible schedules for their employees across the board.
“We want to accelerate mobility of frontline retail workers not only within Walmart but in retail as a whole, and really elevate the role that retail can play in workforce in America and more broadly,” says Kathleen McLaughlin, who serves as both chief sustainability officer and president of the Walmart Foundation.
While some individuals may prefer to donate time or funds from an altruistic standpoint, it is still important to note that corporate giving as a percentage of pre-tax profits is slowly declining.
Check out the full list of The 20 Most Generous Companies of the Fortune 500 to see more about the non-profits and charities that benefited from $3.5 billion in donations last year.
It can be quite overwhelming to look for new causes to support, let alone find an organization that happens to be aligned with your morals, missions and general way to approach fundraising. Although for some this is not necessarily a confusing or extensive process, for many, successfully narrowing down a philanthropic organization or charity that suits you can be a daunting task.
Recently, an organization named “GiveWell” is primarily focused on helping individual donors find and give funds to charitable or philanthropic organization that is essentially aligned with their set goals.
GiveWell’s and extensive case studies are also supported by statistics, quantitative data and other qualitative forms of research, making this process far easier for individual donors. According to recent research, individual donors actually give more to charitable causes than other foundations, corporations and companies combined.
Therefore, it is clear that giving or providing individual donors with the appropriate tools is vital for further growing and charitable giving across the country.
GiveWell basically emphasizes a dual focus track as an organization geared towards funding the best, most useful options. Their first goal is to research various programs that would allow victims of extreme poverty or devastating illness to find help in their respective areas.
The second portion of this dual-focus mindset is to then decipher which are the most effective, cost-efficient approaches to the specific issue at hand. Recently, the organization’s most recent research study, they found that providing families or individuals with bed nets is a far more effective option to reduce malaria than simply providing micro-loans as another option available.
After this process of thorough research has completed, GiveWell will then give their data to other third party organizations in order to holistically assess whether or not these proposed programs are well thought out and feasible for these organizations to implement. In addition to data analysis, GiveWell also reviews charity operations starting from reports and ranging to budget allocation, additional funding, etc.
A key driver in GiveWell’s mission is the ability for a philanthropic body or charity to be entirely transparent with their donors. The organization announces top charities they believe function most effectively in various areas such as money management and internal operations which make their mission not only uniquely planned, but also creates interesting fundraising campaigns.
Some major donors in the private sector also use GiveWell’s data as a basis to make large donations to specific charities the organization has approved.
Dustin Moshovitz, Facebook’s co-founder, has used research and data from GiveWell to decide which organizations exhibit transparency, along with finding the most productive ways to implement new programs. For the entire list of the top charities by GiveWell, please take a look at this link.
With nearly forty-seven percent of Millennials stating they would prefer volunteering for an organization, 16 per cent said they would give financial support and around thirty-three percent would be inclined to give both time and money to a meaningful charity related to their interests.
As a result of these positive statistics pointing out inclined millennials are to engage in philanthropic or charitable work, it is evident that companies and organizations alike need to collaborate to create necessary steps to utilize this interest. The below are a few salient ways you can engage in a two way dialogue with millennials during the fundraising campaign process.
Motivations are key
Millennials are a culture defined by a deep desire to affect change and receive instant gratification for their efforts. As products of the digital era, millennials are aware of global issues at lightning speed, which therefore can act as a catalyst to provoke interest, resulting in a clear motive that allows for charity spectators to understand the organization’s mission. If you happen to compare data or findings to see how you are interacting with your younger audience base the difference between the two will provide some insight as to what you need to change in your current or next fundraising campaign.
Call to action
It is no surprise that Millennial digital experts desire a certain level of immediacy that other generations may or may not be accustomed to. For this generation of young people, a plethora of information can be accessed from the tip of your finger. As a result of needing this immediate response time Make the donation process as simple as possible – it should take two clicks at most from start to finish.
Crafting a strong foundational base of millennials is not only important when fundraising for charities or philanthropic bodies, it has increasingly become a fundamental as more and more young adults are entering the workforce. Since it can be difficult for millennials to commit or consistently donate to a specific cause, it’s vital to remember that the key is to maintain engagement for the longest period of time possible.
Cultivate a strong online community of advocates through community management of your social media pages, by showing each person that interacts with your organization that their input or engagement actually matters. Maximizing public relations as a resource not only allows people to feel special, but it also produces a mentality in which they feel that their opinions matter. Responding to questions or liking comments guides allows your organization to engage with fans in a more personable way via social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook.
Showing transparency in terms of organization expenses, changing goals and potential alterations within the organization’s functions is essential to winning the trust and respect among millennials who are interested in your charity.
It can be quite daunting to choose a certain philanthropic cause or charity that highlights the mission of your brand, while also aligning these interests to cater to those who are affiliated with your company. The initial step in relation to effectively choosing the appropriate cause for your brand is to align your message with a train of thought or an idea which would deeply resonate with your base.
Throughout the process of crafting an effective charitable program, it is essential to utilize a social service organization to execute an ambitious philanthropic program. An established social service organization, that functions well as a philanthropic body with a proven history of efficiency is a fundamental way to successfully lay the framework of your campaign. There will be many to choose from, so take your time, and choose a partner whose mission and image fits with yours.
With this in mind, producing a written memorandum that details the parameters of your relationship is essential not only for business purposes, but also allows you to attain a better understanding of each party’s set goal in the deal. This contract, so to speak, allows for a full level of transparency between both your party and any partners that are willing to work towards a common goal that has been underlined previously.
In terms of further promotion of your charitable campaign, it is essential to further drive support from your employee or customer base in order to further create buzz about the cause or specific philanthropic goal you want to achieve. Therefore, ensuring your employees not only understand, but genuinely support the cause is absolutely vital for the overall growth of the project.
Evan Steed, one founder of both a business and philanthropic body, Meathead Movers based in San Luis Obispo, California is no stranger to understanding how to craft a great charitable idea and developing all its components to benefit all the partners involved.
Steed states that “It’s important that this is something that lights up your employees when they talk to their friends and family about it,” Steed says. The logic here is that if you choose a cause or charitable goal that is meaningful to your employees or staff members, this in turn creates a relationship which sparks loyalty between two essential parts of our campaign.
Although it is important to plan out your campaign thoroughly, a salient concept to remember is that regardless of how intensely you lay out the framework for this project, certain aspects will inevitably go wrong. With the freshness of a new project of this nature, there is always room to infinitely grow as a company, a charitable base and as employees participating in selfless work for others.
Not often do you see a comparison between gym workouts and clean water charities, but that’s exactly what the people at Iron Tribe Fitness have done.
In 2009, Co-Founder and business owner, Forrest Walden wanted to use the business to give back to those in need. He has a yearning desire to combine Nerverthirst and IronTribe Fitness as a joint effort to help bring clean water to over 700,000,00o people around the world who are denied access ti safe drinking water.
His idea: “WOD for Water” to bring together business and fundraising. WOD is a cross-fit term that means “workout of the day”.
In 2009, Forrest Walden hosted his first “WOD for Water” to help bring clean water to Haiti after devastating natural disasters struck the nation. It was a huge success and has become an annual fundraiser that has grown exponentially every year.
The country’s first official Boys’ Club was founded in 1876 by American railroad executive, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Edward Henry Harriman. Harriman, a New York state native, wanted to form an organization that would provide inner-city boys living in the Lower East Side area a safe and nurturing place where they can participate in more productive activities. The original Boys’ Club of New York clubhouse began with three boys but, within its first 5 years, attendance rose to 100 boys.
The core mission of BCNY has always been to provide the boys and young men of NYC a safe haven from the potential dangers found on the streets. Throughout the years, BCNY has expanded their range of programs far beyond their humble beginnings. The Boys’ Club of New York began simply as a refuge for young men, but it is now an organization that encourages the boys and young men it serves to continue to strive in the areas of scholarship, moral development and physical achievement. The nearly 3,500 boys who are members of BCNY are constantly challenged to reach their full potential and the organization works to offer hope for a better future by helping them acquire the skills necessary to make their goals a reality.
The Boys’ Club of New York now operates three clubhouses in New York City. The Harriman Clubhouse continues to serve the residents of the Lower East Side, while the Elbridge T. Gerry, Jr. Clubhouse serves the East Harlem community and the Marion McMahon Abbe Clubhouse serves the community of Flushing, Queens. The organization serves predominantly lower-income families, and provides its members with opportunities that they may otherwise not have access to. This includes services that address the social, health, emotional, creative, and educational needs of their members.
Getting involved with the Boys’ Club of New York is very easy as they have several opportunities to volunteer and become a part of their organization. Throughout the year, BCNY holds a variety of events that benefit the different services they provide. One such event will be a Golf Outing taking place June 16th. Donating to the Boys’ Club of New York is also easy. They accept donations through a secure and trusted system on their website, and also accept donations in the form of stocks and securities, tribute gifts, planned giving and direct payroll deduction.
The NYSPCC’s Junior Committee is set to host its Spring Benefit program in just a few short days. Let’s take a look at the organization’s history and mission.
The NYSPCC or New York Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children is the world’s oldest organization created to protect children. Its mission is simple, to help serve the complicated needs of children who suffer from abuse and neglect. They accomplish this by supplying legal services, as well as counseling and educational programs. The NYSPCC will continue to work tirelessly towards its goal of eradicating the abuse and neglect of children across the New York City area.
Over its long history, the society has been responsible for investigating more than half million cases on behalf of millions children. Furthermore, the NYSPCC has also been dedicated to the education of professionals, having provided lessons to more than 50,000 men and women who actively help kids properly identify, and then report potential child neglect or abuse.
In order effectively serve troubled children, the NYSPCC needs help. Please consider donating your time and resources to this great cause. Donate here to help fund our commitment to help abused and neglected children. If you have the time, please considering volunteering. Opportunities to volunteer include, being a member of the prep team for the organizations holiday party, participating in the NYSPCC Holiday Toy Drive, which occurs seasonally. You can even take the initiative and organize ones for your own friends, family, and coworkers. You could also serve as a host to a parenting seminar in your work, if possible. There are a myriad ways in which you could contribute, so please visit the page on their official website.
If you are available on May 6, you can stop by the Junior Committees annual Spring Benefit at the Tao Downtown. Additionally, please read the resources provided on the official NYSPCC Website. They will help you learn how to identify abuse or neglect, and then take the correct steps in reporting this to the property authorities.
If you’re a pet lover or owner, you might already be well aware of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and its cause. If not, please read my blog to learn more about the organization, cause, and how you can contribute.
The organization, established nearly 150 years ago in 1866, was founded by Henry Bergh on the principles that humans should animals in a humane and respective manner. Based out of New York City, the organization boasts a strong presence in the area, and promotes and organizes programs across the nation. More than one million people are supporters of the ASPCA. The organization focuses on three key areas including helping victims of animal cruelty, caring for pets and their parents, and providing good outcomes for animals that are considered to be at-risk.
There are a number of ways you can dedicate your time and resources to the ASPCA. Join Team ASPCA in a number of athletic events such as the TD Five Boro Bike Tour on May 3, 2015. You can bike through the five boroughs of New York City, and help raise funds for a worthy cause. If you have already entered a 5k, marathon, or any other type of event, you have the opportunity to become an athletic ambassador for the ASPCA. If you choose to join our team, you will receive a personal fundraising web page, tips from the team of how to optimize your fundraising efforts, and most importantly the opportunity to make a difference in an animal’s life.
Other signature events include the ASPCA Young Friends, a series of equine events sponsored by the ASPCA, and the ASPCA Bergh Ball. You can also shop at the ASPCA online store where you can purchase a variety of great products such as a chew pillow, water bottle, tote bag, and more. All proceeds will go to a great cause. Please visit the official American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals website to learn more about this organization.