Wednesday, November 7, 2012

3 Myths About Business and Charity

Tomorrow is the day that we give away coats for the kids at Community Partners of Dallas.  As you may know, CPD works with kids who are involved with the Child Protective Services system – so our clients are abused and neglected children who have open cases with CPS.

I have been here as CEO for almost 11 years and the coats we give out have pretty much single-handedly been supplied by the employees at Fidelity Investments for every one of those years – and even more years could be tacked on to the total from before I came here.  I don’t know how our relationship with Fidelity began, but we are surely blessed because of it.  I have no idea what we would do without them, as Fidelity delivered more than 1,500 coats to us on Monday morning – volunteers are sorting and counting them in our warehouse even as I type this post.

  1. MYTH:  Corporations donate a lot to charity.  Some corporations do, but for the most part very little charitable dollars come from corporations.  In the US, charitable giving statistics are as follows:  Individuals, 73%; Foundations & Bequests, 22%; Corporations, 5%   NOTE:  At CPD we are very close to the national averages, as we are 71%, 25%, 4%
  2. MYTH:  It is easy to raise funds from businesses.  If you have ever been in a meeting where people (aka board members/event volunteers/lay leaders) are brainstorming about how to raise money, invariably someone will pipe up and say “Well, you just need to call <insert name of big company here> and get them to give us some money.”  NOTE:  Notice that I used the word “you” in the “YOU just need to call” – that was on purpose, people.  Corporate money is the hardest money to raise in any economic environment and even more so in this kind of economy.  In fact, corporate giving declined 3% in 2011 and who knows what it will be like in 2012…
  3. MYTH:  Money is all corporations give to charity.  Businesses do give funds, but many give in-kind donations that are worth thousands of dollars.  Corporations also provide volunteers to help charities and some even pay their employees to do volunteer work.  NOTE:  Working with corporations takes a lot of follow up and follow through.  If you are a charity who wants to “go for” corporate funds, be sure that you know this and plan accordingly.  Lots of emails, phone calls, and personal contacts are vital.  Corinne Karp, our Director of Corporate Development, does an outstanding job at this, so feel free to call her at 214-624-7588 to get your company involved today.

Thank you to everyone at Fidelity Investments for your huge gift to CPD.  You are champions and myth busters!

 P.S.  My #FundraisingFriday gift is going to CPD.  If Fidelity employees can do it, so can I.


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