Group of volunteers packing boxes of items for donation
Contributing to charities can have a great impact on your business and your employees’ morale; however, do your research to find the right cause to support. — Getty Images/ AJ_Watt

As a business owner, you might consider donating to a charity that aligns with your values and beliefs once your company has the resources available to do so.

Supporting a cause can give both you and your employees a sense of purpose and fulfillment. In fact, a survey by Fidelity Investments found that 66% of workers feel it's important for companies to be philanthropic and to support different causes; however, businesses should do their research when looking for potential charities to work with.

Here are some tips to help you choose the right cause to support as a business owner.

Seek a personal connection

Consider if there are any charities that support a cause that means something to you personally. Giving to a charity with a personal connection will drive you more than a charity you’re not personally invested in. Believing in and having the desire to support the charity will push you to engage more in your charitable initiatives, making your contributions more beneficial.

Employees like to see a company that’s engaged in charitable efforts, so if they see your company is trying to uphold its values while making a positive impact, it's a great motivator for employees as well.

Research different organizations and charities and their qualities

Before committing to any decisions when picking a charity, ensure that you’ve thoroughly examined what the charity actually does and who works there. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their accomplishments and overall impact as well as their upcoming goals and plans for growth.

It's important to see where your donations will go and how they will be used so you can verify whether your contributions will truly go toward those in need or be wasted on overhead. For your own business's sake, make sure you're working with a reputable and well-respected charity since your company's name will be associated with theirs.

[Read more: Building Your Reputation in the Community? 3 Tips for Getting Involved]

Fifty-five percent of employees would choose to work for a socially responsible company even if the salary was less.

Charities.org

Ask your employees

Employees are motivated by companies that make it a priority to give back in charitable ways. According to Charities.org, 55% percent of employees would choose to work for a socially responsible company even if the salary was less.

When determining a charity to support, receiving input from employees may help you gain insight into causes you hadn’t previously heard of. Employees may hold a charity close to their heart, so opening up the floor and allowing them to contribute suggestions is a great way to discover new charities and potentially find a worthy cause to support.

Match your brand's values with the organization's values

Regardless of the charity, your company decides to support, the organization’s values should line up with your brand’s. If you are aligning your company with a charity whose values you don’t believe in or support, customers won’t understand the connection between the two and will be less likely to support the cause. This in turn could cause your company’s efforts to have less of an impact.

[Read more: What Is Corporate Social Responsibility?]

Leverage your strengths

When searching for a charity to work with, consider all the benefits you can offer — not just monetarily, but by thinking of your company and its knowledge as a resource. Work with a charity that can benefit from your company’s strengths, such as your industry connections and insights. There are other ways to support a charity in addition to giving a fixed donation, so maximize your strengths to make the most out of your contributions.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published November 16, 2021