Small Business Tips for Charitable Giving


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happy volunteer group with food donationDid you know that donating to a good case can help your business? I was quoted in a recent Wall Street Journal article that highlights how small companies should give to charities. Here is a summary of what it recommends:

1. Connect your cause to your company — A pet supply company will gain more traction donating to an animal shelter than to the opera.

2. Ask employees for their ideas on causes to support – Employees will be more engaged in your charitable efforts if they help to create them.

3. Support causes you care about in your backyard – Employees will be more appreciative that company philanthropy is supporting the communities in which they live, and local customers will too.

4. Do more than write a check – Provide opportunities for employees to share their talents and time with volunteer opportunities. This can build morale, corporate culture, and camaraderie, and provide real value to the community.

5. Involve your customers in supporting your cause – Gain customer loyalty by allowing them to help you choose charities to support, or by donating a portion of your proceeds to a charity.

6. Anticipate challenges – One of the points I make in the article is to anticipate what might not go as planned. For example, employees who don’t want to volunteer or who disagree with your cause. It’s  your business and your philanthropy, but you can allow for flexibility.


Kris Putnam-Walkerly, MSW is a nationally recognized philanthropy expert and consultant. Learn more at

For more tips and tools for effective grantmaking, subscribe to this  blog, read an article, or listen to a podcast.

© 2015 Kris Putnam-Walkerly. All rights reserved. Permission granted to excerpt or reprint with attribution.


Kris is a sought after philanthropy advisor, expert and award-winning author. She has helped over 90 foundations and philanthropists strategically allocate and assess over half a billion dollars in grants and gifts.

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