Charity is good for the community, but it’s also good for your business. It can generate goodwill in the community by showing that your business invested in the welfare of your neighborhood. It can also earn your business tax credits when it comes time to file. However, you don’t have to write a check to be charitable. In fact, some of the most memorable and valuable acts of charity can involve very different kinds of altruism. Here are just a few different types of donations to consider that don’t involve your business’s wallet.

Volunteer Work

For a busy charity, one of the best donations that your company can make is a donation of your time. This is especially true if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and do the manual or clerical work that often has trouble attracting volunteers. As a business owner, you might consider creating a pro bono program where employees are incentivized to help a local charity.

Cars

If you have any old or out-of-service vehicles clogging up your parking lot, consider giving them to a charity that specializes in car donations. Charities like Give 2 Kids take almost anything from the public, including cars, vans, and trucks that no longer run. They will often auction these vehicles off. Even if they can’t fix it, they can sell it for parts. You can usually get a tax benefit for your donation as well.

Electronics

Electronics are expensive, which means charities and nonprofits are often using old, outdated tech that needs an upgrade. Because of that, they’ll often gladly accept your company’s lightly used computers, printers, and other electronics. 

Additionally, it’s a little-known fact that electronic equipment can be recycled, just like paper and plastic. If a charity can’t refurbish your old tech and get it running again, they might be able to redeem it for cash from a recycling company. You’ll want to check with the charity in question to make sure that they have an electronics donation program in place. If they do, you can unload everything from copiers to computers to calculators.

Real Estate

This is a big one, but if you have offices that aren’t attracting buyers in the current market, you might consider donating them to charity. The tax write-offs can be substantial. Another option is to lease or rent it to a charity in need so that you can generate passive income while also putting your brand name out there as a charitable sponsor.

Care Packages

Last but not least, consider putting together care packages for local charities. This could be a team-building exercise or an initiative that you create to attract sponsors and investors in the community. Depending on the charity, they might ask for a variety of things that your employees can collect from their homes or solicit through a company-funded charity drive.

Acts of charity can be a great thing for your business. Not only can they support a good cause, but they can also bring your employees together and maybe even qualify your company for a tax break. Consider various types of donations to give back to your community as a business owner.

By Anita Ginsburg

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing.

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