The end of the year is approaching and companies are looking to donate to the community and give back to those in need. A few weeks ago, we discussed Small Business Organization and Tax Tips to End 2017. This article discussed donating to charities as something that should be at the top of your ‘to-do’ list for the end of 2017. Since Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday have wrapped up, companies have geared up to give back on Giving Tuesday and throughout the holiday season. As part of our ‘Women in Business’ series, we’re highlighting four companies donating to empower women. Now, many companies choose to donate to a number of charities, many of which include women and young girls. The companies we selected have women’s organizations are the top priority. We’re not stopping there. To help you use the holiday spirit and inspiration from these organizations, we are sharing ideas to help you and your business give back to the community. There’s no better time to give back than the month of December!
4 Companies Donating To Empower Women – Tory Burch.
Fashion designer, Tory Burch, took Giving Tuesday by storm this year. 20% of Giving Tuesday’s net proceeds goes to support women entrepreneurs via the Tory Burch Foundation.
“I launched our business in 2004. I had a concept and, working out of my kitchen with a small team, turned that concept into a collection. As our company has grown, I’ve learned about the obstacles that women in business face, from balancing work and family (my greatest challenge) to securing financing. Many also lack the confidence, business networks and training they need to see their ideas through. That is why in 2009 we created the Tory Burch Foundation to support the empowerment of women entrepreneurs.
Drawing on our experiences and on conversations with businesswomen from around the world, we have developed programs and initiatives that invest in the success and sustainability of women-owned small businesses by providing:
Access to Capital. – Our Capital program with Bank of America offers access to affordable loans through Community Lenders.
Entrepreneurial Education. Our partnership with Goldman Sachs’s 10,000 Small Businesses program provides women small-business owners with business and management education.
Mentoring and Networking Opportunities. I have always believed in the value of mentors and, to this day, turn to trusted advisers from many different industries for insight. Our Foundation offers opportunities for women to network with business leaders and other entrepreneurs seeking to grow and scale their enterprises.
One of the reasons I wanted to start a company was to start a foundation that would benefit women and children. Social responsibility is part of our brand DNA. It’s not about charity. It’s about helping to empower women to help themselves. By providing resources and tools, we can level the playing field for women entrepreneurs, and helping them to grow their businesses benefits their families, their communities and, in turn, all of us,” say Tory Burch about the Tory Burch Foundation.
4 Companies Donating To Empower Women – Goldman Sachs.
Goldman Sachs collaborated with the Tory Burch Foundation to help empower women entrepreneurs, but the financial giant isn’t stopping there.
“In 2007, the financial services firm hired Dina Powell, an alumna of the George W. Bush administration, to lead its philanthropy and social investments. Since then (and in the aftermath of the financial crisis), Goldman’s giving has spiked. It gave away 3% of its pre-tax profits last year, compared with a median of 1% for Fortune 500 companies, according to Chronicle of Philanthropy data. The firm’s signature initiatives, 10,000 Women and 10,000 Small Businesses, have catalyzed a loan facility with the International Finance Corporation for women entrepreneurs and connected 6,300 small business owners with training and capital, respectively. Goldman also gives away grants through a donor-advised fund based on guidance from its employees,” says Fortune.
4 Companies Donating To Empower Women – ExxonMobil.
While ExxonMobil is no stranger to controversy, the gas company has been working to improve its image. Part of this image revitalization has included giving back. One of its top three areas of expertise has been women.
“The oil and gas company inched up its giving by 13.2% last year. Grants focus on three areas: education, malaria prevention, and economic opportunity for women. The company declined to disclose details of its giving last year. But in 2014, the most recent year for which data was available, grants from the ExxonMobil Foundation included contributions of $80,000 to dozens of science camps at colleges and universities nationwide; $1.9 million to Vital Voices, the international women’s group founded by Hillary Clinton; and $500,000 to the Medicines for Malaria Venture. (Companies are required to disclose grants they give through philanthropic foundations but not what they give directly through their business),” says Fortune.
4 Companies Donating To Empower Women – The Brave Collection.
While some companies are looking to donate throughout the year, others are making giving back to the community an integral part of their business model. You’ve heard of Tom’s Shoes doing the ‘one for one’ model, when someone bought a pair, a pair was donated to someone in need. Now this model isn’t perfect. There was a study that showed that Tom’s giving a pair of shoes to someone in need in impoverished communities, led to local show producers losing massive amounts of business. The company has since then restructured its giving strategy. It’s a reminded to us all to look into the case studies on these companies, a good intention might not always give the best result.
One company that has learned from this, is The Brave Company. It’s a jewelry company looking to help at-risk women.
“The Brave Collection is a company that sells handmade jewelry from artisans in Cambodia. These artisans are women and mostly mothers. This helps provide the women job opportunities as well as gaining creativity. The Brave Collection also donates 10 percent of their profits to helping fight human trafficking in Cambodia. Along with this, they also work with partners in Cambodia to support programs that empower vulnerable Cambodian girls and women,” says The Odyssey.
4 Companies Donating To Empower Women – Ways To Donate.
Donating to charity does two things: it gives you a tax break and it also helps those in need. It’s a great way to give back to those who are less fortunate than you during the holiday season. Even the smallest donation can add up. You can donate in a number of ways: time, goods, and money.
Goods. Donating goods can get your business a tax deduction. Goods are also eligible for tax break deductions at their fair market value. However, to do this, make sure you have the correct and accurate paperwork and receipts. If you want to get your employees and coworkers involved, host something in the office. Running something like a can drive, toy drive, or clothing donations are simply ways to help people in need. It might even do more good than a round of office Secret Santa. Does anyone actually enjoy that?
Money. This is by far the easiest way to give back to the community – quick, simple, and always useful. However, you can spice up the typical ‘please donate’ email. Why not run a penny war between departments? This is an easy way for employees and coworkers to get involved too. Working on a small team? You can do it between team members or you may even want to do it with other local businesses. It could be a great way to get your customers involved too. Let’s be honest, everyone is looking to get rid of change. Be creative and have fun!
Time. For the busy entrepreneur, donating time can be hard, really hard. Your day is already jam packed. Try to make it a point to go somewhere and volunteer. It can do a world of good for you. As an entrepreneur, you may wang to get involved with mentoring programs. These can be targeted to help local at-risk youth, or youth that do not have the resources to talk to a successful business owner. Doing something like this can often re-inspire you, making you grateful for wha you have and how far you have come in your life. This can be a great way to get you out of a work funk, too. It will strengthen your ties to the community. If you involve your employees, a service trip could serve as a great team building exercise. Be careful how you pitch the idea, some people may not like the idea of coming in on a Saturday. If you need to do it outside of regular hours, make it a family affair where employees can bring their families. If you can swing it, why not shut down the office early on a Friday? Volunteer for a few hours and then let your employees leave from there. It’s a change to the typical workday schedule that you be welcomed.