Don’t be a Scrooge

We are in a recession. Money is tight. Your business is asked to give a donation for a non-profit.  You contemplate what to do.

At the end of the day it may make more business sense to give a small contribution then to give none at all.

First if you are going to donate to a cause ask the person who is asking for the contribution what kind of recognition you are going to get for it.  Are you going to be listed in a directory or newsletter or announced at the fundraising event.  If not you should request as much recognition as possible.  

If you have to limit your conributions limit it to those organizations who are going to give you the most recognition.  If you are a non-profit looking to raise money you should find unique ways to give recognition to those organizations and individuals who give.

Whatever you do if you donate your services honor the comitment.  I won an item a charity auction a few years back.  The company was refusing to honor the service they donated.   I went back to the nonprofit who had to intervene on my behalf.  The funny thing was I needed a larger type of service from this type of company.  Needless to say this is very shortsided, unethical and stupid.

For example, I know an individual who runs a fund raising event every year for a local non-profit.  They are one of the largest and stable employers in the town in which they provide social services at no cost or low cost to members of the community.  The vast majority of local businesses contribute something.  They reauest donations once a year, even if it is as low as $10 or $25 of cash, gift certificates, donated items or services.  

A local restaurant refused to give any contribution year after year.  Internally the non-profit kept a list of the organizations who contributed every year.  They published it in their newsletter and their intranet. Word got out within the non-profit that this restaurant refused to give something year after year and some employees took it upon themselves to not go there anymore. 

Guess what. .  they no longer are in business.

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