Philanthropy shopping

When Christmas trees come down and twinkly lights turn off, people slow down their shopping. They stop peeking through windows, crafting wish lists and searching Amazon endlessly. But as the holiday season winds down, it’s still the perfect time to set the gift bags down and go philanthropy shopping. You could even call it a New Year’s resolution.

Officially called corporate social responsibility (CSR), giving back to society boils down to this: Every business (hopefully) wants to help with something. Pepsi partnered with organizations to help empower women and provide clean water. Shell donated money for research at the University of Texas at Austin. Patagonia donates heavily to environmental projects.

A company is more than the yearly products it sells or new clients they win over. A team can make their influence and resources count – whether across the globe or right in their own backyard.

It’s a win-win-win situation: Giving to a non-profit aids a worthy cause with indispensable resources. Employees want to wake up before their 9-5 day knowing what they do makes a difference. Consumers feel good supporting a company that supports someone else.

Partnering with a charity doesn’t have to be complicated: start with a genuine heart, choose a method of giving and pick a trustworthy philanthropy.

Once you jump on the train of CSR, there are a few methods of giving. Some companies match donations from their employees, some lend their expertise in pro bono work and some operate in grant-style giving.

Like the controversy of Whataburger vs. In-N-Out, these methods are all up to preference. Each have their pros and cons, but none are inherently better than the other. Whataburger has arguably better fries and ketchup, but In-N-Out has Whataburger beat on burgers and shakes.

The hard part is not finding a way to give, but where to send it once you do. It seems like there are as many non-profits as there are golden arches.

When I go shopping, I need a list. I don’t wander the aisles aimlessly down Walmart hoping to bump into the product I’m looking for. When you are philanthropy shopping, you need a standard to help guide your search.

Two of these standards should be an organization’s high reputability and relevance. You want to find a philanthropy that is honest about their funds and one with a mission that aligns well with your own company.

With thousands of non-profits, you can afford to pick one that fits with your company’s passions. Whether that’s clean water, women’s rights or animal welfare, pick one that your company has a tug toward.

TimePiece went the pro bono route and uses our public relations expertise to serve Choki, a non-profit in Bhutan that seeks to reach poverty-stricken areas through an art school and women’s cooperative.

No matter what you choose and how you give, we wish you happy philanthropy shopping and happy holidays from us at TimePiece PR & Marketing.