It feels good to give. When you have the ability to help someone else, it feels good to be able to provide time, skills, food and/or money to provide a better circumstance.
This year has been harder than most for many people. There are thousands of people in need. In fact, with job losses and businesses shutting down, there may be more people in need of help in 2020 than there have been in the past decade.
In these trying times, the way your organization adapts to challenges will determine both your current and long-term organizational health.
The good news, giving isn’t all about money. Granted, the CARES act has provided some nice incentives for monetary donations, but if you would like to help others in a time of need, money doesn’t have to be the only solution.
New Charitable Rules Incentivize Generosity During COVID-19
The CARES Act recognized that there would be a high need for charitable support this year. It included new tax benefits for individuals and corporations.
According to Section 2205 there is now no limit to the deductions you can take for charitable contributions if you itemize (list out) your contributions. This change applies only to cash gifts made to charitable organizations qualified by the IRS (section 170(b)(1)(A),0).
Taxpayers who don’t itemize can now take a deduction for up to $300 in charitable contributions on their 2020 tax form.
Corporations can raise the annual cash gift limit from 10% to 25% of corporate taxable income.
Note: please check with your tax accountant or attorney for more information.
Adapt to maximize engagement
Moving your charitable planning to a digital environment is the first step. Gather your volunteers, talented team members and influencers and let them start brainstorming online.
Digital giving events can be very successful. Here are some ideas to help your team get started:
Arrange for a voluntary deduction through payroll – many charitable organizations prefer to receive smaller amounts throughout the entire year because it’s something they can count on. If you let employees sign up to donate $1, $5 or $10 per paycheck, it makes a small impact on employee’s paycheck, but over the year it can have a big impact to the community through the right organization.
Raise money through virtual activities, such as a virtual 5K – if you have employees that prefer to get more involved in the fundraising, create virtual fundraising events. Employees can request donations on behalf of a certain organization for completing a task, such as a virtual 5K. This can help their physical wellbeing and their mental wellbeing simultaneously.
Arrange a drop off point for a food, clothing or toy drive – provide a space and schedule for employees to drop off items that can help others. This drive can help local food pantries or specific families in need. With more time at home, your employees may have found lots of items that can help others during this hard time. In addition, the CARES Act has incentivized food donations, raising the tax deduction from 15% to 25% for the 2020 taxable year.
Focus on what you’re great at and volunteer your skills to organizations – many charitable organizations appreciate the help of the skills of their volunteers.
- Your tech-savvy team can help organizations set up websites, improve their social media, or improve their SEO.
- Your designers can help provide designs for updating their location or rehabbing old furniture for resale.
- Accountants can volunteer to go review their annual spend.
- Facilities managers can offer ideas about disinfection techniques and spatial configurations or donate PPE supplies to keep onsite volunteers safer and healthier.
Encourage employees to volunteer their time to help others – giving and feeling appreciated can make your employees feel good about themselves. Studies have shown that feeling appreciated improves an individual’s mental outlook and their wellbeing. Provide time-off for employees to share their time and skills with organizations and towards helping others. That small amount of permission can make a big difference.
Don’t’ forget to look internally
Consider looking internally for those to help as well – you don’t have to give to an organization to make a difference. With the high unemployment rate and the number of pivots businesses have had to make over the last year, there may be some need within your own doors.
- Reach out to previously furloughed employees and see if they need help.
- Ask your teams if anyone is struggling because they have gotten sick, lost a family member or had a spouse/partner/family member lose their job.
- Listen to what your employees are saying and let them know you want to help.
There are so many ways you and your employees can help make a difference. Discover how you can make this holiday season special for someone who is struggling. It can have ripples of positivity throughout your organization and the communities you serve.
If you would like additional ideas and see where your money/donations/skills can make the most impact, the Blackbaud Institute Index offers data trends to help you understand the current situation.
Flagship is grateful that we have been able to keep so many employees, occupants and travelers safer and healthier throughout this tough year with advanced cleaning methods and great employees. If you need a team that will work with you to provide healthy disinfection and help your facility run smarter, we’re here to help.
Email a facilities expert today and get the help you need to keep your facility healthy and safe.