Tuesday, November 28, 2017

In the spirit of #GivingTuesday, here are 7 considerations for your charitable donations policy

Today is Giving Tuesday, a global day of charitable giving, which symbolically kicks off the season for those who choose to focus their holiday and year-end giving.

How does your company support employees’ charitable endeavors?

Here are 7 considerations for a corporate charitable donations policy, if you don’t have one, or are looking to revamp the one you have.

  1. Oversight. Who within the company will take ownership and responsibility for managing your donation program. (Hint: HR is a good place to start.)

  2. Criteria. Do you have specific criteria for the charities and causes you will support? And, on the flip side, are their specific ones you will not support?

  3. Focus. Is there a specific area, or type of cause, your organization favors, and chooses to direct employees’ attention? This can be static, or vary from year to year.

  4. Grants. What is your process for employees to apply for nonprofit grants, if you have such a program?

  5. Request. What is your process for external organizations to make requests for donations?

  6. Matching. Will you match employee contributions to nonprofits (or certain nonprofits or types of nonprofits), and, if so, how do employees apply for matching funds, and what is the match limit?

  7. Volunteerism. Will you support employees’ donations of their time? Many companies now grant employees either paid or unpaid time off to support their charitable donations of their time. Or, consider group efforts. (Today, those that want to volunteer their time can, in lieu of working in the office, build this house, or sort these cans at this food bank.)

My nonprofit of choice today is the Noonan Syndrome Foundation. I volunteer as its outside general counsel, my wife sits on its board, and, most importantly, our 9-year-old son, Donovan, lives with Noonan Syndrome.

Noonan Syndrome is genetic disorder caused by one of several genetic mutations. Donovan’s is of the PTPN11 gene. It is a multi-system disorder with an estimated prevalence of 1 in 1,000 – 2,500 births. In Donovan’s case, he has a bleeding (platelet function) disorder, a congenital heart defect (pulmonary valve stenosis), feeding and gastrointestinal issues (Celiac disease), ADHD, ptosis of his right eye, low-set ears, and is small of stature (for which he takes daily injections of growth hormones, which, I am happy to report, are working quite well).

What is your company doing for Giving Tuesday? Or, what nonprofits does your company support year-round? And, how do you support your employees' charitable causes? Share in the comments below.