Giving improves our communities and makes your business a better place to work
New Hampshire businesses do tremendous good in our communities – sponsoring on-site mentoring programs, feeding hungry neighbors, helping young people pay for college – and so much more.
Philanthropy has clear positive effects for our communities – and, studies consistently show, positive effects for businesses as well. Corporate giving has been shown to make employees happier, more productive, and more fulfilled – and more likely to stay with the company for the long term.
Increasingly, employees (especially millennials) are looking for companies that integrate philanthropy and community engagement into their culture, and are drawn to companies that offer perks like volunteer time and matchmaking for donations. charitable. People want to know that they and the companies they work for are doing good while doing well.
Nonprofits have heroically responded to the challenges of the past year, continuing to fulfill their essential missions and helping our communities overcome the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic fallout that comes with it. They will be an essential part of our shared recovery from this difficult time.
Here are some ideas on how your business can now support New Hampshire nonprofits and create a culture of sustainable philanthropy that engages your employees and helps make New Hampshire a better place for everyone who lives in New Hampshire:
Donate directly to New Hampshire nonprofits and provide matching gifts to employees. Corporate gifts are philanthropic leadership by example and any amount of corporate matchmaking encourages employees to give. Some companies match a percentage, others cap the total dollar amount per employee, but all stimulate generosity and amplify the giving power of your employees.
Offer paid volunteer time. Most people want to volunteer, and volunteering connects them more deeply to their community. But many people – juggling the demands of career, home and family – just don’t have the time. Give them and give New Hampshire communities the gift of this time. Some companies offer their employees one paid volunteer day per year, others more. Some companies organize structured volunteer opportunities (like teams of people serving meals together in a soup kitchen or helping to build a community playground). Paid volunteer time encourages employees to roll up their sleeves and give back to their community – and volunteering together builds relationships and camaraderie at work.
Open a scholarship fund for students in your community. Countless New Hampshire businesses have scholarship funds that help kids in their communities afford college. Some are managed by the companies themselves. Others – from Dunkin ‘Donuts to St. Mary’s Bank to Portsmouth Regional Hospital and more – are administered by the Charitable Foundation. Thanks to the generosity of New Hampshire individuals, families and businesses, the Foundation’s Student Aid Program is the largest source of publicly available scholarships in the state.
Launch a United Way campaign. The United Way branches of the state provide all the tools you need to campaign with the employees of your business. This payroll plan allows employees to choose where their donations go and is a proven way to bring philanthropy into the workplace. United Ways is a critical source of support for New Hampshire nonprofits, distributing $ 14 million annually to nonprofits statewide. Many companies also participate in the Centraide Day of Caring, which mobilizes teams of volunteers to carry out projects for non-profit organizations, from painting and landscaping to sorting food for pantries.
Donate to a Covid Relief Fund. The United Way sections of the state have created relief funds specific to the Covid crisis. One hundred percent of donations to these funds go directly to those in need. And the Charitable Foundation created the Community Crisis Action Fund to support New Hampshire communities during this difficult time – and as we rebuild from its effects.
Support NH Gives. NH Gives is New Hampshire’s 24-hour online giving event created by the New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits. Hundreds of nonprofits are participating, with matching giveaways and prizes throughout the 24-hour period and leaderboards displayed throughout. Promote the event with your employees, sponsor the event or offer a match. Visit nhgives.org to learn more about how to get involved with NH Gives.
Explore opportunities for partnerships with local nonprofits. Perhaps your IT department could offer technology expertise to a small nonprofit organization, or you could organize a corporate food drive for your local pantry. A New Hampshire company, CCA Global Partners, has formed a partnership with Big Brothers / Big Sisters of New Hampshire. The ‘little’ siblings come to Manchester headquarters direct from school every alternate Monday to spend time with their ‘grown-ups’ at the office, eat a nutritious meal and not only enjoy time spent with caring adults, but also see what is possible in the world of work. Opportunities for creative partnerships abound!
Create a philanthropic fund for community associations and involve employees in decision-making. As many business owners know, donation requests can seem constant and can be difficult to organize. Increasingly, companies are using donor-advised funds to organize their donations and recommend grants to community associations. Companies create the funds, and then employee committees – from all levels of the organization – meet to discuss applications from nonprofits and recommend grants. Some companies link employee contributions to the company’s donation fund and invite nonprofits to talk to employees about their work, which helps connect the team more with the nonprofits that provide services. essentials and improve the quality of life in our communities.
Lead by example. Like any other part of a company’s culture, great leadership in giving, volunteering, and connecting with the community has a profound effect on your team – no matter what your business does, or if you have five employees or 500. Examples of generosity inspire.
Richard Peck is vice president of development and philanthropy services at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. He can be reached at [email protected] or 1-800-464-6641, ext. 265.
Laura Rauscher is Director of Development and Philanthropy Services at the Foundation, and can be reached at [email protected] or 1-800-464-6641, ext. 274.