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Choosing a Charitable Cause for the Holidays

charitable giving season

The holiday season has finally arrived, which means over the course of the next few weeks, people will be visiting loved ones, buying personalized gifts and giving back to the community. During this time of giving, it's important that your small business sets an example for the neighborhood by adopting a charitable cause for your brand.

Throughout the month of December, or in the few weeks leading up to Christmas, consider highlighting a specific nonprofit or organization whose mission aligns with that of your business. Working with one of these companies does not mean your brand must donate a certain amount of money each week or pledge a particular number of volunteers, but it can allow your business the chance to make a difference in the community and establish itself as a socially-conscious company.

Determine how you want to give back

Before you can decide which organization to support this season, you need to determine how your business plans on giving back. Involve your employees in the discussion to find out which kinds of endeavors they're interested in pursuing. USA Today reported that there have been many global crises that have garnered nationwide attention this year, like the Ebola epidemic. The source noted that many businesses will focus their giving on one of these timely causes for the holiday season. These charities are ideal for those companies whose communities have been directly impacted one of these crises.

Another important consideration to make is what kind of donations your brand wants to make. Are you looking to collect items from consumers and employees, or will your business collect money to donate to the cause? Choosing whether you'd like to give physically or financially determines what kind of virtual campaign you adopt, as well as the in-store displays you set up.

Ask consumers for recommendations

Once you've started to narrow down your choices, ask consumers for their input on which cause to choose. Ask your Facebook followers what charity they would be more compelled to interact with, or if there are any particular organizations that stand out in their heads. For a more accurate glimpse into what your consumers are feeling, consider posting a poll to your Twitter, Facebook or website that asks viewers to select one cause for your brand to support this season. 

Integrate your cause in your operations

After reviewing recommendations from consumers and employees, make your decision and begin researching the best ways to donate to the brand of your choosing. For those that require physical donations - like food, clothing or toys - set up a donation center in your store. Designate a specific spot of your store for the donations, as this will help you keep all the items organized when it's time to bring them to the charity.

You have many options when it comes to financially supporting a charity. Similar to donation centers, you can set up a box for people to add their loose change or dollars. Alternatively, you can pledge a certain percentage of every purchase to your charity, cutting them a corporate check at the end of the month or donation period.

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