How to get Your Business involved with a Not-for-Profit (5 Easy Steps)

It’s nice to know that you want to do something to make the world a better place. It’s a great feeling. But then how do you do it?

Here are some key points which are the first things you can do to create something long lasting and sustainable for your business.

  1. Find an alignment in purpose

The first thing to do is to figure out what cause your business is naturally aligned with. If you are business that is food based, then maybe food based charities are your thing, do you provide education and training, then maybe causes around education would fit, are you in the health field, then something health related, do you help businesses grow, then definitely Opportunity International and microfinance are for you.

If you are unable to find an easy fit, take some time to think about what will connect with your business as a whole. You can select something that you care about individually but that will most likely end up becoming your own thing that may not create buy in from other staff. Plus, if you ever leave, your passion for that cause goes with it. Finding a solid alignment in purpose will create a long term relationship with a charity and long term solutions with impact.

2. Work out what your impact will be and how you will measure it

What kind of impact do you want to have on the world? Be specific about it and outlandish. I know of people who want to help 1 million people out of poverty or become a millionaire of souls. Once you have your numbers, figure out exactly how you will measure that.

3. Choose an organisation that will fit

Now is the fun part. You get to choose an charity that is working in the area you are interested in, can facilitate the impact you are after, can report back on that impact and are willing to work with you to help make it a reality. There are a great number of charities around, so you get to shop around.

4. Create a plan with that organisation

Put something in writing. Not only does that help make it official for you and your business but it also lets the charity know that you are in it for the long haul.

5. Stay Connected to it

This is done through ensuring the plan and goal are connected with your business by keeping it somewhere we people (yourself included) are going to see it. Create a tally to update, keep information available to all staff and ensure the charity are regularly in contact with you. Invite them to the office to chat to the staff – we love that stuff!

Doing these five things will set you up to create a meaningful connection with a charity with the greater purpose of making a significant positive impact on the world.

3 Reasons Why Your Business Should be Involved with a Charity

Whether it is your own business or you are working for someone else, here are three benefits for supporting a charity, with 1 proviso:

  1. Good for your staff

We know that today, more than ever, business employees are looking for much more than a pay-check to take home. They are looking for career advancement, flexibility, autonomy and purpose. A great way to assist employees to find their purpose is to align with a charity through generosity. That way, your staff know that as they help the business grow and become more profitable, they are creating a positive impact on the world as you donate some of the profit to a worthy cause. This can provide your staff with a greater sense of pride, well-being and team cohesion just by turning up to work on Monday morning.

2. Good for your customers

Having an intentional alignment with a charity can positively impact your customers as they understand that just by making a regular purchase they are also impacting the world positively. Like employees, customers are looking to do much more with their purchasing power and showing them that your business is good for the world will assist them in finding some purpose in their daily life.

3. Good for your business

Good news and positive experiences are some of the best marketing tools as word of mouth spreads. Making a positive difference through a relationship with a charity is good marketing material as existing customers notice it, get excited about it and entice new customers. It is also extra social media content for you as you highlight the charity that you support.

Plus it will also bring good staff to you as potential employees see the relationship with the charity as the point of difference between your business and others in the same industry.

Proviso: The charity that you choose has to be aligned with your values. It cannot be something that you do just get good press, people will see through that very quickly. The key is to build a relationship authentically with a charity that can grow over time and show real impact.

My First Pay-Packet

I can remember receiving my first ever pay-packet. I was super excited to get it. It was back before it was all sent electronically; I was called into the cash office of the supermarket and was handed an envelope with actual cash in it. I still remember the feel of that small, windowless, locked office, and the smell of the envelope in my hand. There was no greater feeling.

I’m pretty sure I blew most of it on unnecessary stuff. But why not? It was my first one.

I’m sorry to say that my financial decisions didn’t really improve too quickly. I would buy clothes I didn’t need, eat out way too much and generally have nothing to show for myself after payday.

I’ve learned some hard lessons over time, most through necessity. I would like to think that I have a much better understanding on how to run my finances now, but occasionally I will buy something with no purpose or positive impact. I’m only human, right?

When we think about those who are living in poverty and how they spend their money, how would we feel if they spent what little they had on something wasteful.

There is the classic comedic line:

I didn’t want to give some money to the homeless person I walked past because they would just spend it on drugs and alcohol. Then I realised, that’s what I spend it on!

Why do we have greater expectations on people living in poverty than we would put on ourselves?

What is really difficult to stomach is the reality that many people living in poverty in Asia and Africa handle their money much better than most Australians. There have been numerous studies done which show that a cash injection to a family living in poverty, rather than being spent on alcohol, drugs and gambling, go towards education and health. Exactly what we would hope the money gets spent on.

And if the money can be in the form of a small loan to fund an entrepreneur who can start a business and work her way out of poverty, even better.

It is easy to forget that we can learn a great deal from other people, even if they are living in a slum somewhere in India, and even if it is about how to handle our finances.

Don’t Read This.

Don’t Read this. My Journey is not the same as yours.

I’ve seen quite a pattern emerging, and to be honest, I’m not sure what to make of it.

Everyone has 5 tips for this, the best 10 ways to create that, my two biggest takeaways from this. Heck, some of those I have created.

Whilst I love all of that content, and I think we can learn so much from each other, at some point what has worked for you will not work for me. If I just keep pushing through the tough times with an idea, or a business, or a strategy, will I actually come out the other side as successful as you? As wealthy as you? As well known as you? What if my idea, or business or strategy is awful? Will your simple strategy for super-fast business growth make me millions then?

Not everyone wins the gold medal. Not everyone tops the list, someone has to come second, or third or fourth. Is that still successful?

I don’t mean to sound cynical, but I genuinely want to ask the question about suitability and blanket promises of success.

At some point wisdom will be required, right?

And what can wisdom teach us? We cannot escape suffering in life, that is guaranteed, but wisdom is choosing what is worth suffering for. It says ‘even if I spend all of my energy on my idea/business/strategy and it doesn’t work out and blows up in my face, it was worth it’.

Wisdom is harsh.