Congratulations! Your company has decided to give back to the community through corporate contributions. In many organizations, the leadership for this role lands on the communications director, but the CIO is not off the hook! Information technology can enhance your corporate giving strategy and provide the resources to make a much bigger impact. Through events, tie-ins, communication, data tracking, and consultation, your philanthropic efforts will be up to speed leveraging innovative technology.
- Throw better events. One of the best ways to raise money is through events. Depending on your industry, your company can host an auction, dinner, or seminar, with all proceeds going to your partner organization. Not only will this provide a great opportunity to connect with people both in and out of your field, your organization will also score some publicity. Everyone truly wins! For more on events, check out our very own Stephanie Hanna’s tweets!
- Streamline tie-ins. You may promise to donate n % of your profits to a charitable cause, but can you deliver? Yes, with the right bookkeeping solutions in place. First, you will want to look at the path that the donations follow. Does the money flow directly to the charity, or are there a lot of middle men? It is important that the money goes directly to the charity with as little middle men as possible, and that it all gets recorded for your tax benefits.
- Communicate more effectively. Obviously, email and text messaging are great options for quick exchange of information. But, as the CIO, you should take advantage of all of the resources able to optimize your digital dialogue. See frustrating moments as an opportunity to clean up any outdated conversation mediums. A good start is to share spreadsheets, press releases, and other relevant documents over the Cloud to prevent an awkward and inconvenient email attachment chain.
- Track data and contributions. We mentioned spreadsheets earlier, and while they may seem obvious to a technology pro, you would be surprised how many charities (especially smaller ones) forgo computer-based solutions in favor of stacks of papers. A good CIO will implement practical data tracking options for all relevant information, even if it’s only for their partner organization.
- Ditch the dollar. Technology provides many opportunities for your company to contribute philanthropically outside of monetary gifts. Your expertise can stretch farther than most checks. Offer to have a Skype meeting with one of the leaders of a charity, or assign them a point person to act as a mentor who can answer any questions quickly by email or text.
Regardless of the amount of innovative technology your organization leverages to efficiently give back to the community, the very act of organizing your business to generate corporate contributions is outstanding corporate citizenship. Whether your business is providing awareness, support, or contributions to local charities or national charities, the commitment your business and associates are making to improve the well-being of others is certainly the most important action you can take.