Take Part in CHAgives as a For-Profit Business
Americans love a brand that supports a cause. If your business is looking for a way to give back and show your support for a local charity here in Chattanooga, CHAgives is the perfect opportunity to accomplish just that.
Why should businesses participate?
Giving Tuesday increases exposure and builds support for your organization's philanthropic activities. Your organization will have the opportunity to join hundreds of thousands around the world to enhance the philanthropic sector as a whole; just as the retail world has benefited from coordinated national shopping days, this day does the same for giving.
How can your business get involved?
We encourage you to partner up with a local nonprofit that your business supports. From there, there’s no limit in the ways your company can give back. You can make a pledge, donation, or run a donor-matching campaign. We encourage you to get creative and post and share all that you do on your website, blog, or social media channels using the hashtags #CHAgives and #GivingTuesday.
Other ideas include:
Add a charitable component to your office Secret Santa gift exchange.
In addition to buying a gift for an office teammate, each person also buys a gift that is donated to a local charity toy drive.
Sponsor a charity holiday party.
Instead of (or in addition to) your standard company party, gather your team together to help a local charity. You might serve dinner at a homeless shelter, wrap gifts for a toy drive, stock shelves at a food bank, etc. (Providing snacks and drinks, if appropriate, will help promote festiveness.) Doing it together as a team makes it a party, and helping others makes it a teambuilding win.
Devote a marketing day to a charity.
You probably have some type of marketing calendar for your business, and a marketing plan that targets specific products and promotions. You may also have a budget (for example a daily Google Ads budget) for these marketing activities. Choose one day to shift focus from your company to a local charity, and put your social media savvy to work promoting that charity and soliciting donations for them. You might even divert (or match) your daily marketing budget to support the charity on that day. (Of course, the very fact of your charitable work helps brand your company, so this can be a win for your marketing strategy too.)
Promote a Charity on Receipts & Invoices.
Whether you send receipts for payments and recurring billing, or use paper or electronic invoicing, the receipts and invoices you send are a great way to get additional marketing touches—to promote new products, suggest complimentary services, or just to say thanks. They can also be used as a way to increase awareness for a cause your business supports. You could include a line at the bottom of emailed invoices and receipts that includes the name of the charity, why you support it (be sure to note how it relates to your business, if it does), and a link to the charity website where your customers can learn more. (Make sure to let the charity know what you are doing first.)
Sponsor a Charity Contest.
Have your customers submit nominations for local charities that could use the products or services you provide, and then pick a winner or winners to receive them for free. Post the contest on your website, your blog, and on all your social media channels. Post the nominees on a contest webpage as well. You could also include voting on that page, if you want to select a winner that way. Additionally, you could do follow-ups with the winning charity throughout the year to showcase how your company is helping them to succeed. That’s a charity win, a marketing win, and a way to engage your customers throughout the year.
See how other businesses across America, local and corporate, are taking part in #Giving Tuesday.
ROTHY’S (SAN FRANCISCO, CA)
Rothy’s, a women’s shoe company decided to do Black Friday a little differently in 2017. They pledged to donate $10 per pair of Rothy's shoes sold from Black Friday to #GivingTuesday to 5 Gyres, a nonprofit fighting plastic pollution in our oceans. With the hashtags #RothysForGood and #MoreOceansLessPlastic, Rohty’s met their goal and donated $50,000 to support ocean preservation.
TADLOCK ROOFING (FL/TN)
Tadlock Roofing partnered with Boys Town, a national nonprofit that supports children, families and communities on #GivingTuesday. Not only did Tadlock Roofing offer to match donations to Boys Town up to $10,000, the President of the business agreed to jump out of a plane if they met their goal. Sure enough, the President of Tadlock Roofing was captured jumping out of a plane to show that the sky’s the limit to give back.
View More Case Studies Here
Don’t forget about Tax Deductions.
While tax deductions should not be the primary reason for your business to support charitable causes, they are a nice side-benefit. (And if the tax deduction is the driving force behind a donation, then that’s fine too– the charity benefits just the same.)
In general, you can deduct cash donations to qualified charitable organizations up to 50% of gross income (though the limit is lower for some charity types). You can deduct the fair market value (not necessarily the price you paid) of goods donated. You cannot deduct anything for your time, or your employees’ time, even if you are paying employees to help the charity during regular business hours. You can deduct costs you incurred during volunteering such as travel to the charity site or wrapping paper you purchased to use for packaging gifts.
Additionally, you need to deduct the value of any “gifts” you received from the amount you claim on your taxes. For example, if you donate $250 and get a dinner worth $50, you could only claim a $200 charitable deduction. Typically, the charity will provide a letter or email confirming your donation, as well as the amount of it that is deductible. For large donations (in excess of $250) this letter is required. You’ll also need to file a special tax form if you give valuable donations of goods.
Tax rules are tricky, so it is best to consult an accountant about any deductions you may be eligible to take. You’ll also need to keep good records for all of your charitable giving, and your accountant can help you with that too.
In addition to consulting your accountant, the following resources can help give you an idea of what to expect:
Understanding the Charitable Giving Tax Deduction – What Can Your Small Business Write Off?
This post from the Small Business Administration (SBA) blog, provides detailed information about how small businesses can take deductions for charitable donations. This slightly more recent SBA post provides additional advice.
Small Business Guide to Deducting Charitable Donations
This Fox News post provides detailed examples of different types of charitable donations and how they can be deducted based on how your business is incorporated (C corporation, LLC, sole proprietor, etc.)
IRS Publication 526
Everything you wanted to know (and some that you didn’t) about deducting charitable donations of all kinds, straight from the IRS.
IRS Publication 521: Fair Market Value
The IRS guide to determining the deductible “fair market value” of donated goods as well as information on the documentation you’ll need to provide and the forms you’ll need to file in order to take deductions for donated goods.
Remember to follow @CHAgives on twitter, instagram, and facebook to stay updated, and please share your ideas with us!