Thursday, November 5, 2009
Better Business Bureau Guide For Holiday Gift Giving
As the Holiday season is gearing up, so too are businesses starting to plan their Holiday charity drives and gift giving. While businesses are unlikely to view their philanthropy, especially around the holidays, as a purely marketing tool, it's still useful to know about the The Better Business Bureau's results of a study that: "donating to charities is not just something your business can do to help the community, it can also help your bottom line."
In their recent study they provided evidence:"That for every dollar given to charitable organizations, two to three dollars is returned in sales."
There is more good news here, in another survey by the Better Business Giving Alliance: "more than 91 of small businesses in the U.S. support charitable organizations. While 85 percent of those surveyed had donated money, the research revealed that small business giving is not confined to writing checks. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of small business owners/managers had supported charities through in-kind contributions of products or services."
If you’re looking to have your business give to a worthy cause this holiday season, Better Business Bureau offers advice and guidance that can help you give wisely. Here is my summary of the best of BBB's tips and suggestions.
-Check out the organizations that you would like to support. You can view more than one thousand BBB Wise Giving ReportsTM on national charitable organizations as well as local charities at www.bbb.org/charity to see whether they uphold BBB standards.
-Do some research on your own about the charities-ask them questions, go see what they do. Learn what percent of their proceeds truly go to the charity.
-Define which causes you want to support. This is the season for getting inundated with requests from a great variety of charities. A well planned giving program will help define which charities are your priorities and will help you to say no to the requests that you cannot fulfill.
-Include your employees in your charitable decisions, and give them an opportunity to include their personal causes in the decision making process.
-Make sure you track you donations. Write a check instead of giving cash. Request a receipt for your tax deduction records.
-As a way to save time and maintain records, have all the requests handled by one staff person.
-If you volunteer, your time is not tax deductible, but your out-of-pocket expenses that directly relate to your volunteer services, such as transportation costs, may be.
For more information and advice you can trust from the BBB Wise Giving Alliance about being a savvy donor this holiday season, go to www.bbb.org/charity.