Day of Giving

By Max Richardson

For many of us, the holidays are the time of year when we do our best to think of others. We give greetings and thanks (…and gifts) to our loved ones and donate goods or volunteer for the less fortunate. In a week that is filled with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there are now “Giving Tuesday” and “Wise Giving Wednesday”, two events that encourage giving back instead of commercialization and consumerism.

Giving Tuesday, an event created by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, and Wise Giving Wednesday, created by the Better Business Bureau aim to help donors select responsible charities and get more out of their giving. As these events have gained steam, so has support from companies in the form of donation matching, making your donation go a little further.While Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 and Wise Giving Wednesday in 2001, this is the first year I’ve heard about them (along with most of the people I informally polled).

After doing some research, I learned that there are over 1.2 million 501(c)(3) organizations in the USA. When I learned that, I realized that how much you give and how you give back is only one part of the equation. While choosing a cause is fairly straightforward, the harder question is which charity to pick to get the most from your donation.

Fortunately, there are a few charity navigation websites that aim to make that choice easier. Here are a few I recommend when choosing where to give:

Additionally, Consumer Reports lists the following tips for giving to charities:

• Verify tax-exempt status. If you’re not sure whether donations to a particular charity are tax-deductible (don’t assume they are), confirm a group’s status by checking with the group or by going to the IRS website.

• Give directly. If you’re contacted by a professional fundraiser for a charity you want to support, hang up and give directly instead. “The fundraiser might be keeping 75 to 90 percent of the money,” says Daniel Borochoff of CharityWatch. Sometimes, he says, charities may end up paying fundraisers more than they take in, leaving the group with a loss.

• Request privacy. If you don’t want to be bothered by endless fundraising appeals, tell groups you support that you don’t want your name and contact information sold, exchanged, or rented to other groups or for-profit companies, a common practice among some charities. You also can ask the groups not to send you further appeal letters, email, or phone solicitations. Check the charity’s privacy policy before giving.

• Be on guard for sound-alikes. Some low-rated charities have names that resemble those of high-rated ones. For example, there’s the low-rated American Breast Cancer Foundation of Columbia, Md., and the high-rated Breast Cancer Research Foundation of New York, N.Y. “In some cases, sound-alike charities are there with the intent to deceive donors into thinking they are donating to somebody else,” says Bennett Weiner of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. In other instances, groups have similar names because they’re focusing on the same causes.

Did you take part in Giving Tuesday or Wise Giving Wednesday? If you missed out, there’s still time to get the most out of your donations this holiday season. Use a charity watchdog to help guide your choice in a charity and contact them about donation matching campaigns that may be coming up. And, like us, you can pencil in the date next year!

Happy Giving,
Max

Happy Veteran’s Day!

For those who don’t know me, I’m Justin Guido – I joined this awesome team in June and my role has been to develop relationships with strategic partners for our clients. Specifically, I focus on organizations serving a certain membership audience – entities which are truly looking out for the interests of the group, above everything else. Under this umbrella, I mainly focus on military & veteran organizations. I like working this category for a few reasons. These organizations not only protect veteran entitlements on Capitol Hill, but also provide practical, everyday benefits (which can include significant discounts on every day products and services, as well as programs built around major initiatives like the VA Mortgage program or the GI Bill). WorkBook6 actively works to help our clients serve these communities; I can’t think of a group I’d rather support.

I know from my own experience that it feels good to align our clients’ success with real and direct benefits for the military community. So, I thought it might make sense to share a bit about how corporate partnerships can help the military community. 

How can for-profit organizations support and engage with, the Military community?

First of all, they need to keep in mind–this is a very large and diverse group of people. They come from all corners of the country with varied backgrounds and life experiences.

There are approximately 22 million US veterans and active military members, combined. It’s unrealistic to assume they all think the same way or have the same needs. Universally though, they all need and deserve our help.

There’s a big difference between wanting military customers, and actually being committed to achieving this. There are several ways companies can provide support (while creating brand awareness and loyalty) and they each involve dedicating meaningful resources to benefitting this community. This may come in the form of donations, sponsorships or other monetary contributions. Maybe that ties into special initiatives or corporate-sponsored programs (with supporting web content) that highlight a particular military need or cause. Or, support could simply come through hiring; rolling out a dedicated effort to hire veterans making the transition to civilian life.

One thing to keep in mind throughout the process—you’ve got to be patient. These types of relationships and partnerships don’t come easy or quickly. Patience pays off, though. Once you’ve established credibility and have shown your company’s willingness to support this community, you’ll never find a better or more loyal customer base.

Real examples

I thought it might be helpful to provide a few examples of WorkBook6 clients supporting this community:

  1. NBKC Bank- NBKC has extremely strong ties to the military community.  They are the key sponsor for the TV Show Military Makeover and they have a history of giving back to the Military Community. They’re also one of the nation’s top VA lenders and have specifically built loan products to help veterans take advantage of their VA Loan Benefits.
  1. PureTalk USA- A proud veteran-owned cell phone/wireless provider that’s always very eager to support the military community. They offer exclusive discounts to military group members, collaborate on co-branded military group landing pages and contribute “match” donations made to the group.
  1. Seniorly- Open search platform for senior housing options. Seniorly has recently produced a free Veterans Benefit Guide for Senior Living. This in-depth and comprehensive guide provides information to veterans on the types of available programs, aid and assistance, eligibility and application requirements to assist in securing the best senior housing options on the market.

WorkBook6 is focused on scaling current military partnerships and always eager to create new ones.

If you’re a company interested in supporting this community in some way (maybe you’re not sure how, just yet), we want to hear from you!

If you’re a military group or organization and could benefit from corporate support, we want to hear from you!

And finally, if you’re neither but you know of a company or group we should be working with….WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

HAPPY VETERANS DAY!!

Let’s Connect!