By: Peter J. Lamont, Esq.
New Jersey Business and Personal Law AttorneyLaw Offices of Peter J. Lamont
The relatively recent awakening of business to social responsibility and corporate accountability, begs the question - to whom are they giving and why?
The recipients are quite often large, well-established charities that conduct annual fund-raising drives, using paid telephone canvassers, such as the Red Cross or American Heart Association.
The donor businesses are to be applauded for their generosity but how much more could be accomplished in our communities if these business owners, large and small, spent a little time considering where their gift is going.
For example, an owner with a disabled child should give to a charity associated with the child's affliction and not just the first requestor who happens to come along.
Through careful consideration of candidate charities, businesses can have a significant impact on the communities in which they operate and live in. This can be considered giving back to a community that supports and sustains them as a business enterprise.
And while the larger, well-known charities badly need funding; there are smaller, local non-profits operating in our communities that are worthy of our attention. Too often overlooked by busy well-meaning, socially responsible business owners, these organizations are struggling to continue the good work they are doing.
These non-profits rely on a largely over-worked group of dedicated volunteers to raise funds. They typically "fly under the radar" and are easily overlooked by the public.
Consider one such non-profit as an example - the Congenital Heart Defect Coalition (CHD), headquartered in north New Jersey. CHD raises funds directly and indirectly through organized events such as the CHD Walk.These non-profits do an incredible job and badly need funding.
How many more organizations similar to CHD are operating in our communities?
Before donating to any charity a business owner should be thinking local - especially in these austere times - when funding of any sort is difficult to come by. A quick online search or perusal of local phone books is likely to reveal many worthy recipients that should be considered as candidates for charitable gifts.
Author's Note: I speak from experience. My middle son has a congenital heart condition which required the implantation of a pacemaker at six months old. I believe that it is my obligation as a human being and as a business owner to support heart related charities. While our firm donates to the American Heart Association, we found that our donations can have a more immediate impact on the people in our communities by donating to local heart organizations. For example. we donate to the Congenital Heart Defect Coalition, Little Hearts and the Children's Heart Foundation. While our donations do go towards research for heart disease they also go directly to families struggling to manage their child's heart condition and care.
So, while it is "easy" to donate to a large charity, why not think small and make a direct impact on the lives of those around us in our local communities?
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