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How to Handle Charitable Donation Requests

Thursday, November 16, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Steve Socha, Sharecare Health Data Services
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Medical facilities are often approached with requests for donations of money, supplies, and/or other goods and services. Many of these requests are made by earnest, well-meaning organizations. How do you decide which to support? How do you determine the amount to give?

Here are a few guidelines and ideas that may help you in this area.

  1. Have a charitable budget. If your organization doesn’t already have a budget for charitable donations, suggest that one be established.
  2. Create an oversight committee. Once the budget is established, form an oversight committee to ensure that the funds are spent in accordance with your organization’s values.
  3. Set guidelines for evaluating donation requests.  What types of requests will be considered? Which charities are aligned with the values of your organization? Do these charities have a good reputation with the public and a good track record of fiscal responsibility (see sites such as charitywatch.org, charitynavigator.org, or givewell.org)?
  4. Create a policy for employee requests. Establish a policy and/or procedure for handling employee requests to solicit donations or sell items on behalf of an affiliated organization. One caution: be consistent in how you apply these rules.
  5. Get employees involved. Have the physicians put together an approved list of charities and then use surveys to determine which charities are of greatest interest to the majority of your employees and proactively work with these charities. In addition, encourage employees to contribute their time and resources to the charities of their choice even if your organization doesn’t choose to support it.
  6. Use a company match strategy. In order to ensure that your employees are invested in the charities you support, establish a matching donation plan with a maximum limit for the charities that employees vote to support.
  7. Join a community of giving. Consider joining a broader corporate giving movement such as Pledge 1% (pledge1percent.org)  where members are encouraged to pledge 1% of equity, time, product or profit and build this philosophy into their corporate culture.
  8. Provide paid time off. Provide a certain number of paid time off hours for charitable work done to support your approved charity list.
  9. Utilize volunteer grants. Provide grants of a certain dollar amount per each set number of hours volunteered by an employee.
  10. Start small and build. Setting up a charitable giving program can seem overwhelming and the cost might seem prohibitive at first. Start small, correct any missteps quickly, and build on your successes!

At Sharecare Health Data Services, we have established a Charitable Giving Committee consisting of employees from around the country. This group oversees our company-sponsored charitable giving activities and encourages our local offices and individual employees to give back to their communities in whatever way they feel led. We request that they share these stories from time to time to inspire others in the company to get involved as well.

Sharecare Health Data Services has found that corporate charitable giving can be a fulfilling way to foster teamwork and connection with the community at large.

 

About the Author

Steve Socha, COO of Sharecare Health Data Services (SHDS), has a broad base of operational experience from startup to established manufacturing organizations. He has held key leadership roles in the growth and success of businesses in the biotech, medical device, and medical records industries. In his fifteen years at SHDS, Socha has used his past manufacturing operations background to help guide SHDS in the transition from its analog past to its digital present. His focus on quality and process has helped establish SHDS as the industry leader in risk mitigation for its clients.

In addition, Socha is the executive sponsor for the company’s Charitable Giving Committee, is on the Board of Directors for a local non-profit, and is an active volunteer for that organization.


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