How Corporate Philanthropy Should be Incorporated Into Every Nonprofit Fundraising Event

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How Corporate Philanthropy Should be Incorporated Into Every Nonprofit Fundraising Event

Many people see the nonprofit world and the corporate sphere as two separate entities. One is concerned with serving a particular group or area, while the other is primarily focused on profits and pleasing consumers. But while the two sectors serve different purposes, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to be isolated from one another.

In fact, companies with robust corporate philanthropy programs often find themselves partnering with nonprofits to create positive change in their local communities via volunteer programs, employee giving programs, and more. However, nearly three fourths of Americans feel a disconnect between causes and the products or services that companies offer. For businesses, this means finding a way to integrate their corporate philanthropy with causes that their consumers and employees care about. For nonprofits, this means combining corporate philanthropy with existing fundraising initiatives, including fundraising events.

Let’s talk about how corporate philanthropy and nonprofit fundraising events can go hand in hand with one another.

Ask for corporate donations.

Let’s face it: fundraising events are no picnic (I mean, they can be picnics, but we won’t go into that right now). Nonprofits have to throw a great event but also bring in enough money to cover their costs, and then some!

Asking for donations from individuals just doesn’t cut it sometimes. Your organization might find that the generosity of local companies is a good supplement to your existing fundraising strategies.

The great thing about corporate donations is that they can come in a variety of forms:

  • Cash donations. This one is pretty obvious. You ask a company for support, they write a check.
  • In kind donations. Instead of giving money, a company may choose to donate goods or services to your nonprofit’s event. If you need food for your gala attendees, ask a local restaurant if they would cater the event for free or at a reduced cost.
  • Volunteers. Many corporate employees enjoy giving back to their communities; one way companies can express their corporate philanthropy initiatives is by encouraging their employees to donate their time. Ask local businesses if they would consider lending their employees’ time and talent for your fundraising event.

Asking for corporate donations is just one way that corporate philanthropy can be incorporated into your nonprofit’s upcoming event. It’s important to remember, though, that your nonprofit should be prepared when asking for corporate donations of any kind.

This means creating cohesive fundraising materials like appeal letters, presentations, and acknowledgements. If your nonprofit wants to seriously receive corporate donations, you have to be serious about asking for them.

Promote corporate giving programs during your event.

Whether you’re throwing the kickoff event for your capital campaign or are hosting your annual walkathon, you can promote corporate giving programs to your attendees and participants.

Some of the most common corporate giving programs include:

  • Matching gifts
  • Individual volunteer grants
  • Team volunteer grants

Let’s go over each of these briefly and examine how they can be tied into your nonprofit’s next fundraising event.

Matching Gifts

This two-for-one special of the corporate giving world allows donors to double their contributions with the help of their employers’ matching donation.

If a supporter donates $100 during your fundraising event and then fills out the appropriate paperwork, your organization can potentially receive an extra $100 from the employer a few weeks or months later.

Your nonprofit’s job is to let donors know about matching gifts before, during, and after your fundraising event. This way, they don’t miss the opportunity to double their contribution!

Individual Volunteer Grants

If you have a number of volunteers that help facilitate your fundraising event, encourage them to look into volunteer grant programs that their employers might offer.

Similarly to matching gifts, volunteer grants reward employees who give back to nonprofits. After an employee has volunteered with a particular organization for a certain number of hours (predetermined by the employer), they are eligible for a volunteer grant that results in a monetary donation to the organization.

Promote individual volunteer grants at your fundraising event so that your volunteers can give back with company donations as well!

Team Volunteer Grants

This section will be short since team volunteer grants are very similar in nature to individual volunteer grants.

The only differentiator between individual and team volunteer grants is the number of people involved. Team volunteer grants reward groups of employees who volunteer together for a particular amount of time. The application process is generally similar to that of individual volunteer grants.

Leverage your existing supporter connections.

Do you have an advocate that works for a company without a robust corporate philanthropy program? Perhaps your core group of volunteers all work for the same business. Tap into the corporate giving potential that you could be missing out on by leveraging your existing supporter connections.

Maybe one of your volunteers can speak at your next event about the benefits of volunteer grant programs. Perhaps you have a donor who has repeatedly had her donations matched by her employer. Place her story on your promotional materials and within your acknowledgements so that your other donors know about matching gifts.

By using your existing supporters as a jumping off point, you’ll be able to encourage more of your event attendees and participants to look into their own employers’ corporate philanthropy programs. Corporate philanthropy doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It needs employees who are willing to give back to the community as well as nonprofits who need extra fundraising help.

The good news is that your nonprofit organization can look to corporate philanthropy as fundraising strategy that can be used in conjunction with your existing tactics, including any and all of your events! Whether you need to raise money for a particular project or are just looking to further your mission in general, fundraising events and corporate philanthropy programs can be combined for better fundraising success.


Guest Blogger: Adam Weinger – President, Double the Donation

Adam Weinger is the President of Double the Donation, the leading provider of tools to nonprofits to help them raise more money from corporate matching gift and volunteer grant programs.

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