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News & Press: ABAG's Baltimore Business Journal Column

ABAG's BBJ Column: Why You Should Make Giving Part of Your Business Culture

Tuesday, October 15, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz
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October 14, 2013

Baltimore Business Journal

By Celeste Amato, President, Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers

Contributing Columnist

Corporations in Maryland play a vital philanthropic role in our state.

Maryland businesses—both large and small—offer charitable support to not only projects and programs that enrich our lives, but also those programs that protect and support our most vulnerable citizens. Without local business giving many programs that serve Maryland’s neediest residents would not exist.

Business owners across Maryland tell us that not only does charitable giving enhance their public image as responsible corporate citizens giving back to the community — it also improves direct customer relations and boosts employee morale. Corporate giving encourages individual employee giving and volunteerism and employees cite pride in their company and feeling good about being part of something bigger.

In fact, according to a national survey:

• 87 percent of employees at companies with cause marketing programs feel a stronger sense of loyalty to their employers

• 90 percent of workers whose companies support a particular cause feel proud of their companies’ values versus 56 percent of those whose employers are not committed to a cause

Business giving programs can be structured or informal, depending on the size of the business, the level of contributions, and the number of people participating in the decision-making. Creating your charitable giving program can be as simple as sitting down and writing out what’s important to you and/or your company; or leading a series of organized meetings that include managers and employees.

In any case, a little effort up front will reduce the uncertainty that often accompanies requests for donations, will provide focus, and ultimately assure that your contributions are used effectively and achieve the impact you and your employees seek.

"Investing in the community is good for business since it not only creates a spirit of good will and corporate citizenship, but helps improve the economic and educational conditions here” said Kathy Snyder, President and CEO of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. "We are fortunate to have so many examples of outstanding corporate philanthropy in Maryland.”

Celeste Amato, president of ‎the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers, can be reached at She is writing a regular column for the Baltimore Business Journal.

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