Many business owners are in business for the right reason: to help others. Of course, business owners also want to make money, but helping people solve their problems is often the reason they started their business in the first place. Entrepreneurs like David Johnson Cane Bay Partners invest plenty of time and money into giving back to the community, which can be a fulfilling endeavor for any business.

Here are four tips for integrating philanthropy in your business:


1. Find Charities that Align with Your Business Values

Although it’s easy to search online for local charities and select the first one you see, it’s often much more impactful to carefully select a charity to work with that closely aligns with the values of your business. For example, if you run a fitness app startup or personal training program, it might make sense to direct your charitable efforts to youth groups and after-school programs with an emphasis on getting more physically active.

2. Allow Employees to Select a Cause

Instead of forcing your employees to donate their time and company money to a charity they don’t feel particularly passionate about, open things up and allow your employees to choose causes that hit home for them. You could allow employees to volunteer at a nonprofit of their choice on company time, or you can give employees a small sum of money to donate to a charity they believe in.

Many employers also match employee donations, which can provide an even greater benefit to the charities your employees choose.

3. Record Every Cent You Donate

If your business decides to donate money to charities, you must keep track of every penny that goes toward a charitable cause. All of these donations are tax-deductible, and your business doesn’t want to miss out on tax deductions it is already entitled to. Systematically tracking your company’s donations can result in sizable financial benefits at the end of the year.

If your business is still relatively small, basic accounting software may be enough to track expenses, income, and donations. Larger businesses will likely need the help of a professional accountant to handle donation tax deductions.

4. Foster Genuine Partnerships Between Your Company and Nonprofits

Donating money or volunteering with a nonprofit a few times can make you and your employees feel all warm and fuzzy inside for a short period of time. To create a lasting difference and provide actual benefits to your community, try to forge genuine relationships between the nonprofits you support and your company.

There are several ways to achieve this, such as hosting events with your employees and nonprofit advocates, organizing tours of your facility, or sharing a meal with the nonprofit organizer you have worked with.

Working with charities and nonprofits can be a rewarding and enriching endeavor for your business as a whole, and it can greatly enhance public perception of your company. Corporate philanthropy can help your business do plenty of good around the community, but it’s important to donate resources strategically.

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