Whether you’re the CEO of a profitable company, the pastor of a small church, or the head of a local school’s PTA, your organization has great potential to impact its community. A strong community is key to gaining unprecedented support, which is why you should dedicate time to cultivating relationships with your community.
Charitable giving is a powerful way for you to strengthen community bonds and there are numerous ways you can tap into these philanthropic endeavors, such as through giving or volunteer programs. Let’s explore how different organizations can give back and transform their communities.
1. Launch organization-specific giving programs
Depending on the type of organization you lead, you can launch various programs and opportunities to connect with your community. Consider how charities, religious institutions, and for-profit organizations can strengthen their community bonds.
Of course, charities already serve their communities by fulfilling their missions. But to strengthen your nonprofit’s relationship with its community, try giving back in the following ways:
- Nonprofit collaboration: Propose a partnership with another nonprofit, explaining how your missions align and what your two organizations could accomplish together. For example, you might enlist the help of another nonprofit to collect and disperse reading materials to those who can’t access them on their own. By pooling your resources and working toward a common cause, you’ll develop a stronger relationship with similarly driven organizations.
- Cause promotion: Use your nonprofit’s credibility and reputation to advocate for local causes that impact the community. Highlight statistics, specific stories, and compelling visuals to convey the issue to the rest of the community and garner support to address the issue. For example, a community in need of afterschool programs might highlight increasing student dropout rates or literacy rates to inspire support.
By nature, your organization will more effectively serve its community when it receives more support from donors and volunteers. As you deepen your connection to the community, you’ll ultimately strengthen relationships with donors who will support your efforts in the long term.
Outreach is a big part of many church ministries. Whether you’re evangelizing to local residents or working with other organizations to address a social issue, you can strengthen your relationship with the community by:
- Starting a community Bible study: Don’t limit your Bible study invitations to members of your congregation—various Bible study subjects could appeal to people outside of your congregation and give you an opportunity to connect with other community members. According to Esther Press, women’s Bible studies can be topical, scriptural, or Bible-character-focused. Choose one that will help you connect with interested community members and expand your outreach.
- Raising funds for charities: Demonstrate the need for your church’s support to your congregation, explaining exactly how their tithes and other donations are used. Provide contextual details about the nonprofits your church supports to bring awareness to the important work being done in the community and how your congregation can help.
Receiving a fundraising appeal from a nonprofit is also a great opportunity for your church to learn more about local charities and their visions for your community. You might consider partnering with the nonprofit or other churches with a similar mission to continue funding its efforts if your congregation is on board.
Giving back not only connects corporations to their local communities but also improves the internal, workplace culture by helping employees feel engaged and supported. Partner with your employees to give back through:
- Matching gift programs: Support your employees’ philanthropic endeavors by matching their gifts to nonprofit organizations. To make the donation process especially easy, consider leveraging an autosubmission tool.
- Volunteer time off (VTO): Offer paid time off (PTO) for volunteer work in addition to employees’ other benefits. Allowing time to volunteer makes it easier for employees to give back to their communities by opening up their schedules.
By encouraging employees to give back, your company as a whole can make a significant impact on its community. Plus, you’ll develop a positive reputation as a socially responsible corporation which can help you retain and attract more employees.
2. Focus on constituent engagement
It takes a strong team to impact others through charitable giving. Don’t let your efforts to connect with your local community overshadow the importance of engaging your own constituents. Consider the ways you can engage your:
- Donors and volunteers: Encourage donors and volunteers to continue giving and to advocate for your cause. For example, showing your gratitude for volunteers and donors will help them understand the importance of their contributions.
- Congregation members: Reinforce the significance of charitable giving to bring your church community together in support of a specific cause. Through this, congregants will cultivate a team-like environment in which everyone works together toward a common cause.
- Employees and customers: Employees will be more committed to your organization when they know you care about social impact. This will engage them more in both charitable giving and their jobs, resulting in higher employee retention.
Charitable giving is more than a strategy to connect with your local community—it’s an ongoing effort to positively impact everyone who comes into contact with your organization.
3. Create mission-centric outreach strategies
360MatchPro’s fundraising statistics show that “90% of Millennial donors are motivated to give by a compelling mission, rather than a specific organization.”
Craft your outreach strategies around community-focused objectives. For example, consider the following ways you can bring the community together through social media:
- Share others’ posts. Connect your followers with helpful content from community-based accounts by sharing relevant content. For example, does your city have an official Instagram, Facebook, or X (formerly Twitter) account? Share their posts to keep your followers engaged with what’s happening in their local area.
- Tap into an expanded network. Your engagement with other organizations on social media can put your social media content in front of new audiences who can help to make your mission possible. For example, church leaders might connect with a local women’s shelter on social media, resulting in an opportunity to share their favorite Christian books for women.
- Tag relevant organizations in your posts. Draw more attention to your content by tagging other organizations in your posts. For example, tag the associated nonprofit or nonprofits in a post about your employees’ volunteer hours in the past year. Not only will your employees feel appreciated for their philanthropic endeavors, but nonprofits will see your company’s efforts to encourage and celebrate charitable giving.
Incorporate your mission and your efforts to strengthen your community into outreach of other formats, as well. Depending on the communication channels that your audience is most receptive to, you can craft messages of different mediums and structures.