On a regular basis I am asked how I and my team choose which organizations to support with not only our money but also our time and talents. For me there are three important questions we ask before we invest in an organization.
1. Does the charity's mission align with our family's mission in serving the community? We developed our goals by targeting areas in the community that we are passionate about serving. We are a family team and a very close family outside of the office. We understand the blessings that come from having a strong family unit. That is why helping children and families is one of our initiatives. For example, Children's Home Society is a perfect fit for our team because they are serving local families and breaking the cycle of abuse, creating healthy families and helping to home thousands of foster children. We also support the Arts, Human Services and small businesses.
2. The second question is, is the organization honest and transparent? With all industries of investment it is important to know you are working with a quality organization that is honest and transparent. We do our homework before and after joining an organization. If we are uncomfortable giving money to an organization then we will not work with them. We want to see that the goals of the organization are being met and actually be able to see that our investments are making a difference. The same goes for our time investment. We want to be efficient and help you accomplish your goals. I left an organization recently because I was not comfortable with the leadership. We all have a value to our time and if you don't feel what you are doing is a good fit for you or your business don't make the investment of your time. This is not a political decision. It is based on the bottom line and decision making skills of the organization. This should also not be confused with disagreement. You will never agree with all decisions an organization makes. In fact we serve on boards and committees to represent different opinions and spark discussion.
3. The last question I will ask is, Can we make a difference? This may be the most important question. If we don't feel like we can invest the time your organization requires we may not get involved. If we don't feel like we will be passionate enough to truly engage others in your organization then we may not get involved.
We truly want to make a difference in this community and there are hundreds and hundreds of organizations, both for profit and non-profit. Everyone can find a perfect fit. Do you love small business? Do you love helping others out of poverty? Can you advocate for someone without a voice in the community? What are you talented at? What are your strengths? I believe God gave you a purpose and a heart to serve. Find your niche!