Think HBR

Making a difference in the community

Grace McLean
NFP Connect (Hunter)

I’ve been hearing lots of stories of about the difficulty of giving, or should I say that giving from a business perspective is often put in the too hard basket.
Having had lots of conversations with different people in varying size companies it seems to be that businesses get overwhelmed with the amount of request they receive and are either giving to much, or not giving at all because they’ve hit what is commonly known as ‘donor fatigue’.
We have a strategy for every part of our business but generally not a giving strategy, and whilst it can sounds like just another thing to add to our to do list, the ripple effect for staff and clients can be priceless. However, the problem in business is that generally if you can’t put a value on the ROI, then the concept is not put into consideration, because a business is all about making money, right?
What if I told you that giving isn’t just about handing over your cash, that it can come in so many different forms and the benefits of giving for you and your staff can certainly outweigh what you think the cost to your organization might be.
We all like presents, we all like to do something ‘good’ for someone. But sometimes we don’t see that giving a gift and giving of our time are the same thing. Volunteering for a charity, sponsorship, or giving cash can certainly go a long way in your giving to not only your organisation but to your staff.
There are so many different ways in which your business can give and whilst money is the most favoured option for not for profits, saving money or helping them to raise money is just as good, if not better than actually giving from your pocket.
Everyone is good at something and generally we all have a passion.
When was the last time you asked your staff members what their passions are, or your clients for that matter? Because if you care about their passions, they’ll take interest in yours.
A passion might be bike riding, running, a love of number crunching, strategising, gardening or cooking.
All those things can be a benefit to a charity. Passion breeds momentum, momentum breeds excitement, excitement is infectious which in turn builds teams, and being a team is what your organisation needs to run effectively.
A giving strategy isn’t hard, and once it’s set up should be easy to maintain. But like anything you have to give it the initial time to set up. The time it takes to initially set up a giving strategy has the long term affect that can possibly save you $$ in staff retention because they love being part of your business, morale – because you they feel you care and you’re helping an charity on varying levels and we all know that is makes you feel good.
Some of the greatest ideas and concepts come from staff working in a different environment and get a different view, that’s why Google makes its staff work 20% of their time in a different department, it where some of their greatest products have come from.
We love to support local and there are so many charities and people in your organisation that could partner together to make a big difference in the community. The benefits are endless.
For further information contact Grace on 0406 494 424 or email
Grace McLean2 Grace McLean
Grace McLean has dedicated her career to working within not-for-profit (NFP) and charities. With ten years of fundraising and building community connections under her belt, Grace realised there was a gap between how charities, business and community talk to each other and in 2015 established NFP Connect, a regional model to fill the disconnected gap.  NFP Connect, an organisation that supports charities to work smarter with businesses through leadership and education and work with businesses and the community for mutually beneficial partnerships that grow the community. Grace was named Lake Macquarie - Local Woman of the Year 2016,  Citizen of the Year 2015 and BGC Young Person of the Year 2014 for her work within the NFP sector.