(photo courtesy Michael Durr)

As the saying goes, only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have. This is true not only personally, but in corporate life as well. According to researchers at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI, total charitable giving rose 4% in 2021, with more than $21.08 million given to charities last year. For companies to thrive, they must be willing to give something back to the communities they rely on to support them. Here are four strategies for businesses looking to expand their giveback efforts and support great causes that resonate with their customers and clients.

Make it easy for others to participate

If you organize a fundraiser for a worthy cause, but make it too cumbersome for others to contribute, the fundraiser likely will not be a success. Whether you are encouraging your customers, your team members, or the public to give alongside you, try to meet them where they are. Along the same lines, if potential partner organizations cannot easily understand how to work with you, they will move on. Clearly communicate all rules and expectations, provide web pages and graphics they can easily share on social media, and make the processes as easy and seamless as possible.

Get back to in-kind giving

For bigger companies, it’s often easier to write a check to a local charity. While monetary donations are crucial for organizations, many are also in need of your time and a product, service or expertise you may have to offer. Frequently, in-kind donations, like canned goods for food pantries or blankets for animal shelters, can be used immediately. Turn collection drives into teambuilding opportunities or work together to brainstorm ways to share your services with others in need. Find fun ways to engage outside organizations with your business, and you will forge deeper connections with people in your community.

Search for smaller groups that don’t get as much support

Whether it’s a neighborhood food pantry or a school PTO, there are groups of all sizes throughout our city that need support. Your impact can sometimes be felt more deeply when you work with a smaller group. Sponsor a local Little League team or offer to cater an event to show appreciation for teachers. Either way, your efforts will be appreciated.

Support causes that are important to your team

Your team members are your first and steadiest connections to the communities you serve. Find out what causes they are passionate about, whether it be education, food insecurity, or homelessness, and ask their opinion about creative ways they might like to engage with and support those causes. Encourage them to help identify neighborhood groups that need extra help and spend a few hours volunteering alongside them. Lastly, offer to make a small donation in a team member’s name back to the organization they have chosen to serve. Demonstrating the company’s commitment to the causes they care about is impactful and socially meaningful for all.

For our team, it is has always been about more than just making great pizza, but finding ways we can support and make positive contributions to the communities we live, work and play in and we hope these tips will inspire you to do the same.

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