Sarah Ford | December 7, 2015

When Building the Business Case for Doing Good, Start With Accountability and Transparency

By Gwen Moran

Creating workplace philanthropy programs is a good way to bolster a company’s reputation while making employees feel good about the place where they work, says management consultant Michael Montgomery, founder of Montgomery Consulting, which helps companies implement such programs. However, starting a philanthropy isn’t just a matter of picking a charity to support.

“Successful workplace philanthropy projects are not necessarily the boss’s favorite charity. Rather, they are organized around causes that truly resonate with the employees,” he says.

If you’re interested in starting a successful workplace philanthropy program, take a few cues from those who have already done so successfully.

START WITH ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY

As you launch your program, think about how you’ll direct efforts and money, as well as how you’ll vet the organizations involved, Montgomery says. A 2014 survey by America’s Charities, a membership group of nonprofit organizations, found that 61% of nonprofit survey respondents said their corporate partners and individual donors expect greater accountability around impact and results. So show your employees how they can evaluate charities on their own and measure their effectiveness. Organizations and websites like GuideStarCharity Navigator, and the Better Business Bureau can all be useful tools.

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