In the midst of our ever shifting corporate landscapes, our teams often develop a one-track mind focused solely on the objective of return on investment. While there is certainly nothing wrong with this desire to make back the money we’ve poured into our projects, each day-to-day challenge can obscure us from devoting the time and energy necessary to help our team members and give back to our community at large.
In fact, when we get “in-the-zone”, we often forget about the higher purpose of living and helping our fellow man. Of course, in this case, we’re talking about taking some time off from your business and donating some of your time or money to an organization that could really use it.
Yes, we’re talking about giving to charity!
Charity, pro-bono services and philanthropy have all been discussed as concepts and plans of action by multiple other articles on the web, so we’re going to try something different here. Leveraging some of the nuances of today’s world in 2018, and how the internet provides fast data travel, we have challenged ourselves to provide you with three fresh and unique takes on giving to charity. Without further ado, let’s get started with the first idea:
1. Offering free expertise on topics you know
You would be surprised at how few businesses do this. Think of some topics that you are comfortable and qualified to present on. If you can effectively coordinate in-person seminars or workshops for businesses/communities that you don’t know, you can make a significant, positive impact and help those who may not otherwise have the resources available to attend these types of educational events.
Imagine that your team is comprised of the foremost experts in the residential air conditioning sector. Armed with that knowledge, you may find yourself primed to deliver a Ted Talk style presentation to a group of car technicians. These folks may be involved in the design and engineering of the car’s outer shell, engine block, or even electrical systems, but imagine if they had a eureka moment during your session and quickly figured out a way to make their car’s air conditioner more economic, safe, practical or efficient! Then you’ve truly made a deep impact on their organization and in the world at large because of the knowledge you passed on.
Another creative avenue you could undertake would be to start a YouTube channel. Regular posting of relevant, free content on the internet is one of the most, if not the most effective, long-term marketing strategy for growing businesses.
Have you been on YouTube lately and seen the multitude of people giving away valuable tips for free?
As a bonus to giving you free value, you will be creating a community of like-minded users that can follow up with you and get more information all at the click of a button. If you commit to this full force, you could soon find yourself overloaded with requests to even come out and meet these people in real life, helping them and their organizations. It’s important that you don’t lose sight of the goal here, but know that this can be monetized later should you wish to go this route.
This can be a little intimidating at first, but with some basic knowledge of screen capture software (we recommend Nvidia GeForce Experience or AMD’s Relive software if you have either types of those graphics cards in your computer), as well as a decent microphone and camera, you can capture your screen as you work through anything on the PC.
If you require a more classic-style filming, you can feel confident that your phone is a perfectly fine choice to serve as a video capture device, without further equipment needed.
2. Make a plan and show up in person!
Instead of just showing up at a soup kitchen, first send them an email or contact them in another way to ask where exactly they require help. Maybe they have enough volunteers to serve food but could use more donations of non-perishable items, or they have enough canned goods and could use more volunteers on the ground! You won’t know what is needed until you ask. Sometimes, the biggest challenge that stems from working in non-profit and charitable organizations is coordinating events due to differences in volunteering schedules. If your company can appear (seemingly) out of thin air, and address this concern immediately, you’re in a good spot to keep working with the charity for the long-term.
Another thing you can do to add value is by creating a resource schedule ahead of time. Armed with this, and acting based on what the client says, one could provide this group with a team of experts with each person already pre-assigned to a role in the kitchen.
If, for example, you have an HR professional that is best at interacting with people, suggest that they stay out front and serve the soup. You have a few IT team members that like to stay hidden? Put them in the back washing dishes or cooking. You get the idea. If you can make the logistics of volunteering as simple as possible for the organization, then you can expect they will invite you back for more giving opportunities.
Get your name on an event with a sponsorship. We understand that this is a more “showy” form of charity, as bigger name brands will often get their mark tattooed on hockey rinks or above roadways. Sometimes, these corporations have paid for their right to stake that visual claim, but other times they have merely donated their efforts through time or money and the event holder has promised to display their brand. Not only are you helping to create a more established community event (through your monetary donation), but you can garner some brand recognition as well. If you want to tweak this a little bit, make sure you have some staff members at the event, giving their time and creativity to the event at hand.
We hope you enjoyed our fresh take on these philanthropy initiatives. Please leave us a comment down below if you have some other ideas for charitable initiatives, as we are always looking for ways to add value in our community and across the tech space.
Thomas Rautenbach, Architect
Thomas Rautenbach has over 20 years of diverse systems experience with a strong focus on system and integration architecture and software design and development. He has detailed technical, functional and system knowledge across the SAP technology platform, including extensive experience with the Finance, Supply Chain, Sales and Distribution, and Human Resources modules.