How Your Company Can Give Back on a Budget

By Ed Mitzen
give back

Corporate philanthropy is a great way to get involved in your community, rally your staff around a cause, and even impact your industry. If your company is inspired to give back, but you either don’t want to commit to a monetary component yet or don’t want to limit your contribution to financial only, there are several options you can explore. At my health and wellness advertising agency, Fingerpaint, philanthropy is a core value and a strong component of our culture. And while we do have a philanthropy budget, writing checks and raising money are not the only ways we support organizations and causes we care about. Read on for some examples of how we’ve given back, solidified our culture, and engaged employees.

Volunteer Work

Throughout the year, many nonprofits will solicit the help of volunteers for events or ongoing programming that may be scheduled either during or after-hours, depending on the needs of the organization and the availability of the volunteers. Fingerpaint usually participates in several such opportunities a year, including helping with clean-ups, participating in walks, and more. These events allow us to stay engaged with our industry, which in turn helps inform the work we do and allows us to double down on our presence and expertise in health and wellness.

Pro Bono Work

Different from volunteer work, pro bono work involves donating your company’s time by offering services and expertise to an organization. As an advertising agency, we’ve completed many pro bono campaigns and other marketing projects for nonprofits close to our hearts. One way to offer these services is to have interns work on pro bono projects under the supervision of more senior staff. Each summer, the interns in our offices complete a campaign for a nonprofit and help out with billable work when they have time. Everyone benefits: The interns gain experience, the nonprofits are able to leverage our marketing expertise, and Fingerpaint has the opportunity to take on the pro bono work we all love doing with a little extra help.

Item Drives

Item drives are another popular way to give back while keeping budgets in mind. Collecting and donating in-demand items to nonprofits enables them to instead focus their budgets on their programming and other services. We get a particularly strong response from employees on these initiatives, as they can easily donate goods they already have on hand, or add them to their list of errands over the weekend. Additionally, many times the drives benefit the immediate community where your company is located or are strategically scheduled around the holidays, so people feel good helping out their neighbors during times of the year that might be tough for them.

Overall, incorporating philanthropy can strengthen your culture and involvement in your industry and community. All of these options have both altruistic and strategic benefits to maximizing your corporate goodwill beyond raising or contributing dollars to nonprofits. Visit my website or Fingerpaint’s website to learn more about our commitment to giving back.