Use Your Business to Help a Nonprofit this Holiday

Nonprofits work hard year-round to benefit their causes.  According to the article ‘The Sector’s Economic Impact’, compiled by the Independent Sector, the nonprofit community contributes over $805 billion worth of input (or 5.5% of our nations GDP), employ about 10% of the workforce, and utilize 8.1 billion hours in volunteer service.  With figures like these, in conjunction with reduced funding and economic worries for many, you can grasp why local nonprofits are likely to need and value your contributions and support.

To further demonstrate the importance of small businesses and individuals giving, only 19% of contributions come from Corporations and Foundations. Nonprofits rely on individuals for 73% of their contributions, with Bequests accounting for the remaining 8%.   (Refer to the 2011 Breakdown of Charitable Contributions by Source heading in article.)

According to Theresa Agovino’s Making the holidays count article, many nonprofits rely on Holiday Contributions, stating that 30-60% of their total budgets are raised in the last 3 months of the year, and that the month of December alone can account for 33% of their annual budget. The holiday season truly is a make or break it time of year.

People want to give during the holiday season.  So what can you do to show your support for your favorite cause and bring people in the community together?  A lot!!  The holidays are the perfect time to capture the essence of giving.  You can coordinate collections, lend a helping hand, or sponsor a Shop for a Cause promotion.  Keep reading for samples with amazing results.

Coordination Collections:

  • Do you have a storefront? Run a promotion to collect toys for a specific charity.
  • Are you a financial planner?  Collect donations to fund new bikes for families in need.
  • Organize a collection point for baby goods and products.
  • Assist nonprofits helping incarcerated women to become productive members of society.  Here’s a local sample: Lydia’s Place
  • Collect animal products for animal shelters.
  • Collection gifts for Military personnel and/or their families.

Here is a wonderful example of what can happen when a community comes together.  Al Todd, a Hampton resident, raised enough funds to purchase 300 children’s bikes to donate to the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots. 1 man. 1 business. 1 community. 300 bikes.  300 smiles.

Sponsor a Shop for a Cause Promotion:

  • Select and promote one of your products and make a set dollar donation for each purchase of this product.
  • Select a specific day and donate a set percentage of your revenue for that day to a charity.
  • Give your customers the option to donate an additional amount to the cause.

Lend a Helping Hand:

  • Schedule a time for you and your team to serve in a soup kitchen.
  • Make a special meal for Ronald McDonald House residents (families of critically ill children).
  • Volunteer to help nonprofits sort and transport their  holiday collections.
  • Gather a group and go caroling at a nursing home.

Getting started is simple.  Find your cause and get behind it.  Remember, when you show your support, you are showing your support for the nonprofit, the cause, the recipients, and for the community.  That is a gift worth giving!

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group.  The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis.  Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.

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