Maximize Your Returns on Philanthropy How to Move from Few to Many

Hand passing a credit cardTo avoid haphazard returns, align your philanthropic and business strategies. Firms that maximize their returns build philanthropic strategies do this and reap the benefits.* Here are three ideas to help you pivot to a unified strategy.

1. Take It from the Top. Assign a percent or set aside from the philanthropic and marketing budget each year to support the business strategy. A pharmaceutical firm tosses all new dollars into a business strategy pool.

2. Show Not Tell. Introduce your associates to specific nonprofits. An insurance company invites five national nonprofit CEOs to their all-star agent weekend.

3. Be Picky. Many nonprofits offer an array of programs. Whenever possible, fund projects that match your company’s strategy. A nonprofit expects board members to contribute $2,500 each to a gala. The board member’s firm makes the gift and designates it to fit within the company’s overall strategy.

Giving back. It’s about what it does, not what it costs. Evaluate your business philanthropy with the Bottom Line Philanthropic Assessment.

*Read more about the benefits, such as improved profits, here.

Karen Eber Davis

Before founding her firm, Karen Eber Davis developed the Sarasota County Community Development Block Grant Program. Under her leadership, this infant program received the National Association of Counties National Affordable Housing Award for the Down Payment Assistance Program. To date, the program helped over 1,800 families realize their dreams of homeownership. She also worked with the City of Ft. Lauderdale and the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, where she developed the division’s first audit program. In an earlier position at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Tampa, she organized senior, youth, and children groups plus family activities. Her youth staffing work with the Florida Synod of the Lutheran Church in America supported youth ministries in 120 congregations in Florida.