Service is putting others first while displaying the highest degree of professionalism, competency, integrity, and results. Stewardship is managing resources strategically to provide immediate and long-term financial benefits and opportunities. Service and Stewardship comprise two of the S’s in S3 Management Group and are core to who we are. As a company, we see things through a different lens, and that extends to giving as well.
When it comes to giving, it’s not just individuals who donate their time or money. Most small businesses make charitable donations. Surveys have shown that approximately 75% of small business owners give a portion of their profits, around 6% on average, to charitable organizations every year. As you consider the best possible ways of giving back (and not just during the holidays), keep in mind that cash isn’t the only way to make a difference – you can also give of your time. Keep in mind that building relationships through acts of service and giving helps build a better community.
Finding the Right Organization to Support
Spend some time researching organizations until you find one that aligns with your beliefs and purpose. You know, one that speaks to your heart. There are so many organizations out there seeking donations, many that are worthy of your generosity. You’ll also want to make a list of things you want to find out about the organization. Who are the individuals that run it? How do they spend the money? Are they good stewards of the resources provided? How do the receivers of the charitable resources feel? Are they benefiting from the donations? You’ll find that there are non-profits that are focused on several causes that could use your help, whether you prefer to volunteer or provide financial support. If you are aware of the charity’s mission, having seen them in action or read through their testimonials, you’ll feel more confident that the money or time you donate will make a real difference.
Build a Relationship with the Charity
There’s nothing more important for businesses who want to donate than building a relationship with their charity of choice. By building a relationship with your charity of choice, you’ll be able to determine what they will benefit from the most. Is it time, money, or physical goods? Building these relationships helps ensure that you’re serving in the best area possible.
Deciding What to Give
How do you decide to give time or money? If you can – do both. Whether you can only volunteer your time or give financially, your donation can make a big difference to an organization, and most important of all, those they serve.
All the volunteers, medical supplies or clothes in the world won’t keep the lights on. If the monetary costs of running the charity aren’t met, nobody gets the help they need. In general, the most difficult donation to secure is monetary. Online monetary donations are the most productive way to impact and support the community where it’s needed the most. Whether it’s cancer research, children’s programs or pet rescues, monetary donations are invaluable when it comes to making things happen.
Donating Your Time
It’s important not to underestimate the power of donating time. It’s just as critical to most charitable organizations as financial giving. Donating your time also makes it possible for you to witness firsthand how the charity makes a difference, which is very rewarding. Seeing the results in person will also encourage you to keep donating your time. Don’t feel like you have anything to offer? All of us have a talent of some sort, whether it’s technical, communication, cooking, or cleaning skills.
Involve Your Employees
Making it easy for employees to give back by volunteering together or donating money. It will help build your team and culture, especially if the employees feel passionate about a particular charitable organization. Encouraging employees to participate in fundraising events throughout the year will help make them feel personally connected to the charity.
If you’re having trouble coming up with an idea, here’s an innovative way to get employees involved in giving back. Have them submit nominations for a charity of their choice, including why they feel passionate about the organization they chose. Employees will more than likely have a personal connection to organizations that had helped loved ones or themselves in the past. After that, read through the nominations out loud and have all employees submit their vote until the top charity choice is selected. Hearing the submissions and why a particular organization was nominated will be an emotionally motivating experience for the entire team. Then, at different times during the year, your business could coordinate fundraising events with the chosen charity in mind.
Giving Makes Everyone Involved Happier
Acts of kindness benefit the giver just as much as the receiver. Provided that the acts of kindness don’t become overwhelming and obligatory, they can potentially enrich the giver and the entire community. Altruism in all forms, including generosity, donating money, volunteering, kindness, and compassion, all have the potential to reward the those that give as much or more than the beneficiary. This is particularly true of random acts of kindness that increase happiness in the individual completing the act. When we are giving, we are more compassionate as humans, and a greater asset to our communities.
Remember, it’s important to keep records of both time and money. Talk to your CPA about what is (cash donations, materials) and isn’t deductible (such as employee time). Ultimately, the most effective way to donate to a charity is to do so thoughtfully.
On behalf of our clients, S3 Management Group donated to Murrow Indian Children’s Home whose mission is to provide a safe nurturing environment, spiritual foundation, and cultural experiences to Native American children in crisis. S3 supports Murrow Indian Children’s Home throughout the year and are grateful for their mission and presence in Indian Country. Merry Christmas!