When you run a small business, it’s quite common to be inundated with charity requests. It’s very difficult to draw a line, and set boundaries for accepting charity requests.
If every business was to accept every charity request, there wouldn’t be very many businesses left, so to save you time and money, it’s best to have a charity policy in place.
I’m sure we’d all love to say yes to every request, but it’s not a sustainable business model; this means you need to have some rules and guidelines.
Many businesses like to support a different charity per month, or week, or year; or they like to donate to events. However, it can be difficult to know which charities to deal with. The sad reality is that the internet is full of negative people, people who pretend to be charities, people who are only out for personal gain. There are of course genuine charities, but there are scam artists out there. If you’re going to support a charity, it’s best for all that you ensure it’s a real charity, and there are a number of ways you can do this.
- Check for a charity number. Although not all genuine charities have a charity number due to the restrictions for donations on obtaining them, most do. It’s a sure fire way to ensure the charity is genuine. This also makes it easier when filing your tax return on the charity section.
- Google the charity. Obviously if you’ve never heard of the charity, do your research. Do a google search and find out everything you can about the charity.
- Verify the request. Sometimes people looking for donations will send a Facebook message or an email to the business, it’s hard to tell if these are genuine. The best way of verifying this is to send an email to the charity directly and ask if they’re aware of the person emailing.
- Genuine charities are mostly polite, grateful, humble and respectful. It’s very unlikely a genuine charity will ask for something specific, they will usually be grateful for anything you can spare.
How To Manage Charity Requests
Support one charity
By regularly supporting one charity, you’re associated with them and many charities will take note of that and not send requests. If you choose to use this method, publicise the charity association on your website/Facebook to ensure people are aware of it. This also allows you to contribute whilst also running a viable business.
Approach them yourself
Another way of managing charity requests is to approach charities yourself. By rejecting any charity requests that come to you, and approaching them yourself it allows the choice to be a personal thing. Businesses can often feel a sense of guilt for rejecting charities, but by approaching a charity yourself, it gives a sense of control.
Case by case basis.
Should you want to, you can decide to donate on a case by case basis as requests are submitted. One way of managing case by case requests is to use an application system. The following information displayed on your website will ensure you can manage it systematically and effectively. You can tailor the information to your business, it’s just an example.
*BUSINESS NAME* love to do their bit for good causes. We get inundated with charity requests on a daily basis and whilst we’d love to help every single person who asks, it’s simply not viable for us to do so.
It is for this reason that we’ve implemented the following policy.
From *INSERT DATE*, if you’d like to request a charity donation, we’d now like you to fill in the following form and email it to us at *INSERT EMAIL ADDRESS*
There will be no set amount of people we will donate to per month, it will be at our discretion depending on the month and timeframe.
ALL charity applications must be submitted with proof that you’re fundraising on behalf of the charity. This could include charity number, contact details for the charity, or a valid letter from the charity confirming you are fundraising for them. Even if all this information is submitted, we may ask for more proof.
This is to ensure that donations only go to honest individuals/ charities, as sadly the rise in people posing as charities is increasing.
Event/ what the donation will be used for:
Date donation required:
Item/s you’d like to be donated:
Proof of fundraising:
All applicants will be replied to as to whether they have been successful or unsuccessful. We wish you every luck with your fundraising
This method tends to be quite effective, and allows you to reign control over your donations whilst giving back to good causes.
However you decide to manage your charity donations, ensure that it’s the best for your business in the long term. There’s no point trying to run a viable sustainable business and giving away all your profits in donations.
Do you have another way you deal with charity requests?
Sound off in the comments below!