Your company has decided to be more charitable. Now what?

Giving back to the community is a selfless act that will make you feel better. But there are added benefits to companies that do charitable work. Doing so provides networking and marketing opportunities, gives the company added presence in the community, and often boosts employee morale.

So, let the charitable work begin! But how does a company get started with, or boost, its charitable giving? Here are three tips:

1) Find a charitable organization that matches your company’s passions. There are around a million charities in the U.S., so be sure to pick one that’s a good fit for your ideals and mission. Whether your employees and stakeholders get excited about helping youth, saving pets, helping disabled persons, or something else – there’s a perfect match out there.

2) Pick a charity that meets the criteria for tax-exempt organization, and is both accountable and transparent. Charities typically make available an IRS Form 990 that details how they spend their money. It’ll help you understand whether they are delivering on their mission, and how well.

3) Give it a trial run. Get to know the charity on a personal level to decide if it’s one you, your employees, and stakeholders can comfortably engage with on a regular basis. Work with them on a small project before going all-in.

Don’t have time to research whether a specific charity is making an impact, is careful with its donations, and is trustworthy? Then consider supporting a community foundation, which typically has a higher knowledge of local community needs, already collaborates with the community’s nonprofits, and has a mission to get donor dollars to where they are needed most.

That local expertise and community leadership can make it easier for your company to make a difference.

If you’d like to know more about the Eden Prairie Community Foundation, or need more advice on picking a local charity, contact the Foundation’s executive director, Mark Weber, at or (952) 949-8499.

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