Giving to Charity

I’ve had a very busy year and an even busier summer! But, I did want to catch up on things here. In my first blog post I talked about business ethics. Today, I want to start talking about something that has become increasingly important to me this year – supporting deserving charities.

Earlier this year I watched an interview with Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. They challenged successful businesspeople like myself to find ways they can give back to the community. It inspired me and made me ask myself what I could do to help. So, I started doing some research – and some deep soul searching.

I decided that I wanted to focus my efforts on organizations that primarily help children, women and single parents. I think helping children is a great investment in the future. But, I also wanted to leave some money aside to help organizations that deal with disaster relief, as this spring and summer have seen some of the worst disasters in history destroy many parts of the world. I’m aware that when catastrophe strikes, help is needed immediately.

So, that’s how I set my parameters for the charities I would partner with on a long-term basis. My research efforts were concentrated on finding charities that really work. That ended up being much harder than I expected.

I quickly discovered that many organizations spend a lot of donations on corporate expenditures and don’t use enough of their resources for their real goals. I did not want to work with those types of organizations. I want to make sure that most of my donations go to help the people who really need it.

It took a fair amount of time and effort, both on my part and the part of my staff working with me on charitable initiatives. But, at the end of the day it was worth it, because I was able to identify charities that needed help and have rock solid reputations in the charitable community.

Once I’d identified my initial charities, I contacted the organizations and asked them how I could do the most good. I don’t want to make a one-time symbolic gesture; I want to spark initiatives that will allow me to work with organizations for the long term.

Their response was not only to donate money to them, but also to encourage others to do the same. That’s what I plan to do.

In my next few blog posts I’ll start talking about the charities I support. For now, I’ve taken up enough of your time and am just happy to get back in touch with you again!

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~ by Jesse Willms on August 28, 2010.

 
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