Sometimes businesses would like to do social service or philanthropy but just don't understand enough about it, don't know what they would like to do and where to begin. Many businesses prefer to support local causes that give back directly to their community. Other businesses, even small ones have interest in supporting organizations that address more global problems such as hunger, education, poverty, the environment, world peace.
There are plenty of resources that can help any business identify a non-profit they would like to support or a cause they would like to help.
Local community foundations are a good place to start to look at what kind of problems need to be addressed within the immediate community. United Way, a national organization that has local branches all over the country, is comprised of a network of community organizations that serves broader and more general causes such as education, aging, hunger. Non-profits are often members of their local Chamber of Commerce, and the local Chamber may have specific causes that it supports. All of these organzations can provide infomation about opportunities for supporting local causes either through philanthropy or volunteering.
There are also great online resources that have lots of information about different causes, organizations and opportunities for philathropy.
Change.org, is an online social action networking site, that posts information about a variety of causes in the world, and where connections with other people involved with these causes can be made. http://www.change.org/
GuideStar provides financial reports and information about charities and non-profits. http://www.guidestar.org/
Charity Navigatoralso information on the financial health of nonprofits. http://www.charitynavigator.org/.
Idealist.org is an interactive site where people and organizations can exchange resources and ideas, locate opportunities and supporters, and take steps toward helping build a better world.
Great Nonprofits allows non-profits to create a profile, publishes reviews from donors, volunteers and other stakeholders about non-profits, so that anyone who wants to donate or volunteer can for a non-profit can check it out first. http://www.greatnon-profits.org/