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Thursday, February 03, 2005

NGO / For-Profit Roundtable

I had a rather lengthy discussion with the director of a wildlife charity today, a client of ours. As we were discussing upcoming projects the organization needs to complete and the financial limitations so many small charities have, I got to thinking about how many business owners passionately believe in several "causes," but have yet to figure out how to help.

From a business perspective, many of us resign to cutting a check addressed to one of the larger organizations - not necessarily because we feel strongly about the particular entity, but because we recognize their name and are unaware of other worthy charities. Businesses tend to give to specific causes they are familiar with, sometimes based on employee input, sometimes based on what competitors are doing. For many, the process is not well thought out.

From a nonprofit perspective, the feeling is that the business world just doesn't care. Or they figure why bother asking when so many large organizations will beat them to the chase.

Many smaller organizations have yet to learn how to "make the ask."

So I would like to do my part to remedy this.

In the next 2 weeks I will be encouraging other business bloggers to do the following:

1. Contact a favorite charity
2. Conduct a short interview with one of the staff members and get the following information: Description of program work; What they believe their biggest limitations are to achieving their program goals; How they believe businesses can help (make sure they give a good list of ideas), etc.
3. Post the interview with your thoughts on how businesses and nonprofits can successfully work together to achieve a better community (in whatever way that manifests itself)
4. Notify me so I can link back to your findings

If interested, you can trackback or email me at - info1 AT ricksticks DOT com - ATTN: Aleah.

My organization of choice will be Zoocheck Canada - www.zoocheck.com. I will be interviewing Rob Laidlaw, founder and director, next week. I would like to have this wrapped up by February 25th.

The goal is to help connect businesses with nonprofits in a way that creates goodwill and community, in the greatest sense of the word.
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