As you start to brainstorm your December to-do list, be sure to include Colorado Gives Day. On December 9th, all donations made to nonprofits through the Colorado Gives site will be partially matched by a $1 million incentive fund from First Bank (its largest ever matching fund!). As a business, you can show your support for your community by participating in Colorado Gives Day.
Over the last four years, the amount of nonprofits, donors, and donations have increased (see charts to right) including a new high of $20.4 million raised. It would be expected that these overall numbers increase for 2014.
Listed below are several steps that your business should follow on this day to show your care for your community (which will give your business returns as well).
One of the easiest things you can do as a business is share the causes you support and their needs. Encourage donations to be made on Colorado Gives Day as they will be furthered.
- Share your charity's Colorado Gives Day link on your social media outlets. Do this a couple times both before and during Colorado Gives Day. Include a personalized message and, if possible, photos of your business supporting that charity.
- Share the charity's link on your website. Especially if your website generates a lot of traffic, you can provide valuable new awareness for the charity by putting its Colorado Gives Day link on your landing page.
- Write a blog post telling your story with the charity. In the blog post, tell why your organization supports this cause, how you have supported it, and why the cause needs donations today. Be sure to have a link to the blog post on the landing page of your site so it gets maximum exposure.
- Use signage around your store. If you have chalkboards, table signs, or even just a little notice at the register, tell people to donate and/or alert them about Colorado Gives Day.
These ideas utilize your existing communication assets and take little time. In addition, being a good corporate citizen is a major demand of today's consumer. Even if your links do not drive your followers to donate, you are spreading information about the charity which can, in turn, help the charity gain volunteers, board members, and in-kind donations. Awareness is valuable!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Donations can be scheduled ahead of time, so advertising and asking people to donate today is just as important as on December 9th.
MAKE A DONATION
Of course, contributing financially to the cause is what the day is all about. As a business, ColoradoGives.org has created a Corporate Challenge and provides great value for businesses to sign-up. You can encourage your employees to donate under your business name and your business will get plenty of recognition in Colorado Gives Day materials.
If your business matches a percentage of an employee donation, then the overall impact on this day means that one donation made by an employee is matched by a percentage by you and an additional percentage by First Bank -> the value of $1.00 is so much more!
- Have an event: If you support one or two charities, invite them to come in on Colorado Gives Day so they can tell their story and get people to donate. Again, awareness is valuable!
- Give a share of sales from that day: Either a portion of the total or a percentage from a specific product could go towards the cause(s) you support that day.
- Utilize Colorado Gives Day to help your business: Want more people to follow you on Twitter? Perhaps for every new follower you get on December 9th, you will make a $1 donation (be sure to put a maximum limit on this).
Colorado Gives Day has been growing over the past four years and your business should be a part of helping the charities around the state. Find a way to help out and, in return, your business will be seen as a vital contributor to the community.
Brian Phipps is the Founder and a Strategist at Confluence in Denver, Colorado that consults small and mid-size businesses to increase their positive impacts and community connections in their corporate giving and social responsibility practices. To find out more go to www.ConfluenceLLC.com.