Community Giving & The Benifits of Non-Profit Status

By Lori Riggs

It is annual charitable giving campaign season and if your group has 501(c) (3) non-profit status, you may be eligible to register with local charitable agencies.  Organizations, such as the United Way, post “Public Notices” in newspapers or on web media seeking charitable, voluntary, health, education and welfare organizations with a 501(c) (3) tax exempt status.  If you desire to be included in the 2012 or future charitable campaigns, there will be an application process; contact information is generally provided.  In some local papers there will be several notices for agencies seeking groups who desire to be included as they “kick-off” their year of giving.  Donations are then sought from municipal, school, and large corporate employees who may select your non-profit as the recipient of their donations.

Spend time checking for funding opportunities through the retail industry.  The Safeway Foundation http://www.safewayfoundation.org/get-funded/index.html funds nonprofit organizations that strengthen the communities they serve. Applications are considered in the following areas: Health and Human Services, Hunger Relief, Education, and Helping People with Disabilities.  They actively seek out organizations that are working with the community and making an impact.

The Target Corporation website at www.target.com/community focuses on Education, Environment, Well-Being, and Safety and Preparedness.  At Target they are committed to giving 5% of their income to the communities they serve – more than $3 million each week.   Target & BLUE is a partnership with law enforcement, public safety, and criminal justice agencies helping to build safer communities by sharing resources and ideas to keep communities safe.  They have developed strong relationships with local public safety leaders through initiatives like National Night Out, Safe City, and Shop with a Cop. By sharing resources and ideas with partners such as the Big City Emergency Managers Forum and the International Association of Chiefs of Police, they are helping build safer, more connected communities.

You will find that many retailers make it a priority to give back to the community.  One such local grocer has instituted a Community Share Program with United Way.  Registered non-profits receive a 1% cash rebate made on purchases by simply submitting the bottom portion of their receipt indicating the number of “Community Share Points” accumulated.  Many groups solicit these grocery receipts from their parent organizations, church groups, sports teams, dance groups, or even by setting up a booth outside the store asking customers to simply donate the bottom portion of their receipt towards your cause.  This type of resource may make for a small, albeit steady income.

Walgreens http://www.walgreens.com/topic/sr/sr_giving_back_contribution.jsp, founded in 1901, has long recognized the connection between strong communities and good business.  If your organization is seeking contributions or support, here is what they consider:

  • Access, outreach and education toward health
  • National nonprofit organizations focused on the research and treatment of a single disease
  • Civic and community outreach
  • Faith-based organizations are considered if funding is not solely used for religious purposes

To ensure a positive impact, the CVS http://info.cvscaremark.com/community Community Grants Program focuses on inclusive programs and programs for children with disabilities under age 21; academic and enrichment programs at public schools; and programs that provide access to quality health care services and health education for at risk and underserved populations of all ages.  Requests for CVS Caremark Community Grants are accepted beginning on January 1 and ending on October 31.  Please note the following requirements for the Community Grant program:

  • Qualifying organizations are eligible for grants up to $5,000.
  • All nonprofit organizations applying for a Community Grant for this type of program ARE REQUIRED to provide their EIN (Employer Identification Number) also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, before they can begin the eligibility quiz.
  • A CVS/pharmacy store must be located within the state where your community organization resides.
  • All CVS Caremark Community Grant Applications must be submitted online.

Other grant opportunities include:

Macys – http://www.macysinc.com/community/foundation_grants.aspx

Lowes – www.lowes.com/community

Home Depot – http://www.homedepotfoundation.org/how-we-help/grants.html

Costco – http://shop.costco.com/About/Charitable-Giving.aspx

Wal-Mart – http://www.walmartstores.com/CommunityGiving/203.aspx

Kroger – http://www.kroger.com/mykroger/018/community/Pages/community_rewards.aspx

Albertsons – http://www.albertsons.com/about/community.jsp

Take the time to research local or national chain retailers; log onto the websites and review their community giving programs.  HINT:  Use “rewards”, “donations”, “grants”, “community giving” or “charitable giving” in your search.

Be creative and know that there are MANY businesses in your communities willing to lend a hand.

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