Many company giving programs are merely opportunities to respond to specific requests from organizations. However, a company in the pursuit of doing good, should aim to do better and even "more" better in the long run. The 5 tips below suggested by Ms. Ateeya Manzoor are your keys to moving your grant program from one that simply helps out organizations to one that is a true partner in the community.
1) Create solutions to real problems. Instead of accepting requests from organizations for contributions and cutting checks (grants), find out what the real needs are in your community. While every cause is a worthy one, determine if your giving is actually helping address a real issue or need. Then ask yourself how you can better help the community and what other resources can you use to make this happen.
2) Treat your philanthropy an integral part of the business. Ensure that your giving is not fulfilling pet projects. I've talked with dozens of business owners who make the company giving the same as what is important to them personally. While it's hard to separate the two, align your company giving with the company's values and long term vision.
3) It should benefit the workplace, community and marketplace. Build a giving program that involves employees and values their input; seek to improve the communities where your operation(s) are- the same place your employees live; find ways to include customers in your giving program through new opportunities (this builds customer loyalty).
4) Think long term. Have a good understanding how your giving will make lives better for future generations. You are making an impact now through your giving, but the goal is to be a part of the process long term.
5) Start small and build up your program. Instead of doing an overhaul of your giving in one big swoop, identify just one area to begin making a change. There is something to be said for small steps and building on a strategy.
Ateeya Manzoor is the Managing Director of Mayfair Management Group and a skilled strategic and risk manager with over 20 years of experience. Ateeya's commitment to realizing potential extends in her philanthropic work. Through numerous charitable causes, talks, writings and mentorship, she is committed showing those who struggle that there is always a way to ascend. She is currently working on her first book.
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