Business Giving Strategies

Business Giving Strategies

A company’s decision on how much to give to charity can be influenced by its annual profit levels, long-term strategic giving goals, business priorities, and a host of other factors. Some companies target a specific percentage of their pre-tax profits to donate to charity each year, others do not.

Cash Contribution Options

  • Direct cash donation 
    A direct cash grant is the most common type of contribution. A company can deduct charitable grants from corporate taxes up to 10 percent of pre-tax net profits. In addition, there are several techniques you can use to increase the impact of a small charitable giving budget while encouraging giving from other sources, including employees.
  • Employee matching gifts 
    Matching gifts programs are an easy way for a business to support the organizations and causes that are important to your employees. When an employee makes a donation to his/her favorite charity, the company matches that donation dollar for dollar, up to a specified limit in a calendar year.
  • Dollars for doers 
    If your employees are active volunteers, one way to reward their efforts is through a dollars-for-doers program. This giving program makes cash grants to organizations where employees volunteer a certain amount of time.
  • Challenge grants 
    Challenge grants are a specific grantmaking strategy designed to leverage additional resources for a project or program. The company makes a grant on the condition that the recipient raises funds from other sources, usually within a certain time period.

Non-Cash Contribution Options

There are several ways your company can support causes and organizations in addition to cash grants. Offering non-cash giving options enables your company to better achieve its program goals and meet more community needs than can be met by cash giving options alone.

  • In-kind contributions/donations 
    Donations of goods and services can expand your company’s charitable giving. These contributions can consist of products, suppliers, property, or excess inventory. They can also include services such as printing, website development, and use of meeting rooms. In-kind gifts are tax-deductible within certain limits.
  • Loaned Talent 
    You may offer the time and expertise of employees, allowing them to help an organization on company time. Employee “loans” can be either for single events or projects, or on a regular, longer term basis. This type of contribution provides nonprofits with expertise to which they would not ordinarily have access and increases your employees’ leadership skills and understanding of community needs.
  • Employee engagement 
    There are many ways to engage employees in workplace giving opportunities, ranging from the United Way and other campaigns, to sponsoring company teams in fundraising walks and runs, to encouraging employees to volunteer in a company-sponsored initiative. You may or may not decide to link employee volunteerism to the company’s business goals; many small companies simply encourage employees to volunteer in their own communities.
  • Publicly Traded Securities 
    You can transfer ownership of appreciated securities owned for at least one year to a charity and receive a deduction for the average value of the security on the day of transfer. When the security is sold by the nonprofit, neither the donor nor the organization will have to pay capital gains tax. You receive the benefit of having your gift valued at fair market value, including the appreciation, for the purpose of determining your charitable deduction.
  • In-Kind Gifts and Pro Bono 
    In addition to cash contributions, some companies donate their products (“in kind” gifts) or offer their services on a free (“pro bono”) basis to various charitable organizations. Many companies have products that can be used by nonprofits, including products from current inventory, obsolete merchandise, returned or slightly damaged goods, computers or office furniture and equipment. Nonprofits can also benefit from services provided by a company or its employees, such as printing, legal representation or publication design. A company’s charitable donation of its products can qualify for a charitable deduction. However, limitations exist on what and how much can be deducted. The rules are complicated and require careful prior analysis by corporate or outside counsel. The value of staff time donated to a nonprofit organization is non deductible, although out-of-pocket expenses such as gas, mileage, meals, etc. for such volunteer work may be deducted within certain limits.
  • Volunteer Time 
    In addition to giving dollars, one of the most important ways to help nonprofit organizations in your community is to give of your time. Nonprofit organizations are in great need of capable, committed volunteers, and your volunteer contributions can leverage the financial contributions you make to an organization.
  • Above information can be seen at

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