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Philanthropy and Startups

By Townes Haas   |    December 14, 2015   |    11:31 AM

It may not seem like a great idea to take away much needed time from work when you're starting a business, but helping charities in your local community (especially during the holidays) can boost employee morale and help your company's image. Here are the best ways to get your startup involved in local charities.

Look around you

If you take the time to research your town, city or region you will find numerous charities which need help. These might be small independent charities, not-for-profit groups or local offices of larger organizations. Not only will you feel positive about giving back to your community but having your startup associated with the charity will be great for your reputation. Make a list of the charities that interest you. Do your due diligence so as to make sure they are genuine and well-established.

Decide what matters to you

Once you have come up with your list of charities you will want to brainstorm with your employees to see which charities hold the most meaning for your start-up and for your clients. There are so many different kinds of charities, from fundraising for cancer, animal shelters, helping the homeless and more. Evaluate which fit your ethos, are special to you and your staff plus align with your startup's capabilities and skills.

Determine how you want to get involved

There are numerous ways in which to help a charitable cause, so you need to decide which ones suit your startup, resources and outlook. You might want to aid the charity with services or provide financial support to the charitable organization. You and your startup staff could volunteer, become an advocate or board member of the charity. You could provide free products to the charity or aid them with your expertise. You might want to donate a percentage of or all the proceeds raised from your sales on an item.

Promote the charity

By getting the word out about the charity you can help their cause. Use publicity to associate your startup's name with that of the charity. For example, you might utilize your products, your website or social media accounts to publicize the cause, to enlist volunteers to join you in helping the charity, in donating to it or to advertise a charity event. Your startup will benefit from being associated with the charity, plus, you will help raise awareness about their cause and aid them in earning much-needed funds.

Get involved in an event

There are many ways to commit to a charitable events. You might want to help in the organization of one by volunteering your time and services, you might want to provide funds to sponsor one, donate your premises or products for use or you may prefer just to spread awareness about the event. Being involved in events can be both rewarding and fun for your staff as well as the whole community. Encourage other businesses in the area to get involved. If you are helping with funding, to save on capital, find special deals by explaining the event is for charity. Make sure your startup's name features on the list of sponsor names as this will promote your company to the community.