Corporate philanthropy

QUESTION:

What are three things nonprofits should keep in mind when soliciting corporate contributions?

ANSWER:

* Understand their strengths.

Nonprofits should understand the corporation they are soliciting and its competitive strengths.

Corporations can be more effective in contributing to a nonprofit when they work with those strengths.

For example, you would go to IBM for help in education or Verizon when you are interested in literacy.

* Engage the corporation.

Nonprofits should engage the company by encouraging its involvement in the organization.

Nonprofits should consider placing members of the corporation on their boards or having employees act as volunteers.

* Recognize non-cash resources.

More than half of total giving is non-cash corporate resources.

Nonprofits need to try really hard to identify with the corporation’s products and how these products can be helpful, too.

For example, a hospital needs cash, but also needs medical equipment that a corporation manufacturing the equipment may be more readily able to supply.

— Compiled by Caroline Monday


Charles Moore is executive director of the Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy, a New York City-based forum of business chairpersons and CEOs working together to promote and improve corporate philanthropy.

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