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7 Steps to a Successful Corporate Philanthropy Program

By 3p Contributor

By Andy Cummings

The benefits of a corporate donation program far outweigh the costs. Investment in your community allows your corporation to build customer and employee loyalty while reinforcing positive brand value. At Versaic, we have gathered insights and best practices from supporting hundreds of corporate donation programs with our CSR management solution.

Whether you’re launching a new program, revitalizing a stale one, or just want to make sure you’re following best practices here are seven key steps to maximizing your impact. For the full overview make sure to check out the infographic.

1. Establish mission and goals for your philanthropic initiative: What do you want to support and accomplish? Consider how key causes map to the interests of your employees and goals of your business. Authentic philanthropy programs support company values and aren’t just PR driven.

2. Plan your philanthropic initiative: Plan for a system that works the way you work and assemble your team. Eliminate inefficiencies so you can focus on your mission, not administrative tasks. Think about what you can provide, for instance, Wyndham Hotels donates hotel reward points, while Kohler donates plumbing fixtures. Be flexible and decide how to adapt as your giving program evolves.

3. Build your ideal system: Utilize an online system to streamline your program and automate responses. Jump in, learn and adapt as you go. Ask the right questions and set expectations with an initial eligibility quiz. Discover Financial is up front with its criteria for support and clearly communicates with submitters. Make sure to know the status of any request or donation and who is responsible!

4. Establish your online presence and build awareness: Enhance your overall brand message and tell your philanthropic story with a dedicated web page. Use this page to give examples of your work and share clear criteria for support. Promote this page on social media channels and include a link on your website. Educate your employees to encourage them to spread the word.

5. Go live!: Don’t worry if you don’t have everything in place. With the right system, you can make changes and additions as you learn and your program grows. The important thing is to get started, even if it’s small steps. With Versaic’s system you get free unlimited support and changes, a true partnership approach is the way to go!

6. Understand and communicate your results: A good report tells a powerful story about your programs and gives you insight into where you are having the most impact. Follow-up after each donation to collect data and send any stories to your communications/marketing team for promotion. The Safeway Foundation uses “story banking” to collect photos, videos and quotes from their community partners in an online system.

7. Incorporate what you learn to improve your program: Maximize the benefits of your philanthropic investment by incorporating what you learn along the way. Are you accomplishing your goals? Decide what other results you would like to collect and how these results can be communicated.

Image credit: Moyan Brenn

Andy Cummings has been with Versaic since 2003 and has been instrumental in building Versaic’s leadership position in the sponsorship and philanthropy markets. Over the years, through his extensive knowledge of Versaic’s product architecture and thousands of conversations with clients, Andy has built a solid understanding of how the Versaic platform can be adapted to create the most relevant applications and client solutions.You can reach out to Versaic via Twitter (@Versaic) and Instagram.Interested in learning more about. Interested in learning more about Versaic and our solutions for grants, donations and sponsorship? Call 877-712-9495.

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