• Research Is the Key to Picking the Right Charity for Your Business

    June 17, 2016

    Charity Picking the right charity to align your business with is a big decision. From finding the right cause to rallying your employees to commit their time and effort to support it, there are a lot of variables to consider. To help  ensure a positive relationship  for everyone involved, it's important to put in the legwork from the beginning to research the organization and make certain it's the right fit for your business.

    Get the facts
    In order to make an informed decision that will help your business  make the biggest impact , you have to gather as much information and research as possible on the charitable organizations you're considering. The organizations themselves will no doubt have information they can provide, but you also want to go a few steps deeper to make sure you are getting the full, unbiased picture. There are many great resources online to gather information, including:

    • Give.org  (BBB Wise Giving Alliance)
      "The BBB Wise Giving Alliance helps donors make informed giving decisions and promotes high standards of conduct among organizations that solicit contributions from the public."
    • GiveWell.org  
      "GiveWell is a nonprofit dedicated to finding outstanding giving opportunities and publishing the full details of our analysis to help donors decide where to give."
    • CharityWatch.org  
      "CharityWatch dives deep to let you know how efficiently a charity will use your donation to fund the programs you want to support, exposes nonprofit abuses, and advocates for your interests as a donor."
    • CharityNavigator.org
      "Charity Navigator's rating system examines two broad areas of a charity's performance; their financial health and their accountability and transparency."

    There are also several online resources that are especially useful for learning more in-depth financial information about charitable organizations, including:

    • GuideStar.org 
      GuideStar gathers and disseminates information about every single IRS-registered nonprofit organization.
    • NCCS.Urban.org  (National Center for Charitable Statistics)
      The National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) is the national repository of data on the nonprofit sector in the United States.

    Research the organization's history
    In addition to gathering all the stats and figures, it's also a good idea to learn more about a charitable organization's history and the circumstances that facilitated their establishment. Here are a few questions to help build a more well-rounded understanding of a charity you are considering.

    • How/why were they founded?  - Understanding the situation that inspired a charity's founders to build an organization dedicated to a specific cause can provide key insight, as well as help you decide if your values align.
    • How has their mission evolved?  - Just as important as how a charity was founded is how it has evolved over the years. Have they kept up with current trends-not only related to the cause, but also in the way they raise money or communicate their message? How has the organization reacted to new research, changes in laws, or advancements in technology? What is their strategy for ensuring their mission stays relevant?
    • What have they actually accomplished?  - Take a close look at a charity's history of success. Whether it's increasing awareness or finding a cure, are they achieving the right milestones and capitalizing on the momentum? It's one thing to raise money for a cause, but it's another-sometimes more difficult task-to ensure the support is properly allocated.

    Find out what other donors have to say
    Reaching out to other companies that support or have partnered with the charitable organization you are considering is another great way to get a better idea of how well they work with their donors and what you can expect from your relationship.

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