Choose the “Right” Charitable Nonprofit

Gold One MedalBy Tom Garrity, President of  The Garrity Group

Previously, we’ve discussed what nonprofits can do to increase their relevance before their target audiences. Today, we’ll tackle some thoughts on things that corporate leaders should consider when identifying ways to contribute time and resources for a nonprofit or community issue:

  • Look at existing resources – How much time and personnel do you “really” have to set aside? Answer that question before you start creating your target list.
  • What do you really want to accomplish? – If you are reading this, then chances are you want to make meaningful change. It is always good to “test” your intent so you aren’t just checking a box.
  • Consider your current voice – Does your organization’s mission/vision/value align with the charity you’ve identified? For example, if your organization wants to impact the local community, consider a charity that keeps its money and service locally.
  • What is the intended and unintended “ROI” of your involvement – Yup, that’s right, “Return on Investment.” I am not talking about the hard return, like cash or media attention (choose another outlet if that is what you want to accomplish). Do you want your employees to learn more about the community? Support a client or community that has helped you to be successful?
  • Assess your target audience – How is your target audience involved or what do they like? Answering this question will increase the “halo” effect among key demographic groups.
  • Do the right thing – Be genuine and humble in your service.

What does The Garrity Group do? We keep it simple. The company volunteers its time and expertise to cook meals for a local family shelter and to produce their annual report. Each of the company’s employees are also encouraged to be involved in a nonprofit of their choosing.

My personal project is called “One Medal.” It is an affinity running program to encourage endurance athletes to run for someone who has experienced a life changing event (illness, natural disaster, accident, etc.). The participants are encouraged to provide their race medal as an encouragement and to share their story on a website.

So you see, getting your organization involved and engaged in meaningful charitable work doesn’t take a lot of effort. All it takes is some thoughtful consideration of how you want to change the world by starting in your community.

Author BioTom Garrity is the president of The Garrity Group, a public relations firm in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is a member of several community nonprofit boards of directors. In May, 2014, Tom completed his fourth marathon for a friend persevering through an illness.

One Comment

Barbara Hastings

Good corporate citizenship is good business, and of course, good PR. We encourage and facilitate clients to take part in the community through good works or giving; the payback is goodwill.

Congratulations, Tom, on your marathoning and your firm’s shelter work.

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