During the holiday season, it is heartwarming to hear about – and talk about- various contributions made to non-profit organizations. Whether it’s a mom or dad dropping off a few cans of vegetables for a local food pantry to grand initiatives from large corporations reaching out to those in need across our world, sharing and generosity are on the rise during the holidays. And the Metals industry has a few great examples.
A food drive currently being conducted by Gerdau’s office staff in Jackson, Mississippi has a goal of raising 1,200 pounds of non-perishable food for the Salvation Army, while steel mill workers in the company have set a goal of raising 4,400 pounds of food for the Interfaith Shelter. The company has recently donated $2,000 to the Salvation Army and $2,500 to Interfaith Shelter and will match those funds again if the food drives meet their goals. The employees have also set up a fund to sponsor 30 turkeys for Interfaith Shelter, AWARE Inc. and Jackson Friendly Home.
ArcelorMittal has partnered with the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Red Cross (ARC) in Northwestern Indiana to provide teaching gardens at elementary schools in the area as well as providing teams for various walks, disaster response resources and the Take 5 for Life program aimed at educating elementary schoolchildren on proper fitness and nutrition. The company has also worked with a large number
of environmental, educational and service organizations to help improve the community at large.
What non-profit donations mean to your business
Why do these large companies spend so much time and effort working with charitable organizations? While the simple answer is “it’s the right thing to do,” the reality is much more complex. Let’s take a look:
- Tax benefits. When a company is having a successful year or is close to a change in tax rate, a common way to reduce their tax burden is by
donating to a non-profit. Because these donations are often tax deductible, the business does something great for the community while saving money at tax time.
- Networking. When a company works with a volunteer organization, they develop contacts with not only the organization, but also with other volunteers, other volunteer organizations that work with that one and other donors. And more networking and direct personal relationships can easily turn into more opportunities on the business side.
- Building good will. If you’re active in your community, you’ll show up in a number of places that help build goodwill and brand recognition for your company, which can lead to new projects and higher sales. In today’s connected society, businesses are often hired as often for what they make as much as what they do, and volunteering goes a long way to build that social currency.
How to set up an effective donation drive
If you’ve decided you want to set up a donation drive at your business, here are some ideas on how to set up an effective one:
- Collect what’s needed. Talk to the charity first and collect their needs. A homeless shelter center may not need clothing but are desperate
- Pick a busy location. The more people see the signs and items being collected, the more likely they are to donate.
- Communication is key. Send out emails, put up fliers and make sure you’ve got some signs in the collection area to attract attention.
- Make it competitive. Break up into teams and provide a prize or special recognition for those who donate the most.
Do you have a great story about working with a non-profit? Let us know in the comment section or check out more news on our website.