24Notion, an integrated agency focus on a creative marketing design, public relations and lifestyle agency, is the winner of a prestigious Corporate Social Responsibility Award, the 2012 Portland Business Journal Corporate Philanthropy Award for Innovation in Philanthropy. In addition, 24 Notion was ranked 17th out of 100 in the Portland Business Journal Book of Lists.
“Corporate Social Responsibility is an integral part of the mission of 24Notion,” said Ivo Lukas, Founder and CEO of 24Notion. “We have proven that being active in philanthropy is possible for organizations of any size. Looking forward we will strive to continue to find new ways to support our community, and the world.”
Ten strategies 24Notion recommends for an organization striving to become a leader in corporate social responsibility are:
1. Commit to giving in your organization’s budget and annual goals – either a percentage of revenues or a set amount. 24Notion has shown year over year increases in their donations with donations in both services and cash. Many organizations have resources that can be highly useful to nonprofits. As a public relations and creative design firm, 24Notion has been able to donate their event planning and promotional services to a variety of nonprofits.
2. Encourage all employees to identify creative ways the organization can provide support to nonprofits. 24Notion donates its marketing know how to nonprofits who would otherwise be unable to afford their services. Employees enthusiastically participate and donate their time to these great causes. Organizations can select a specific non- profit to support throughout the year and give employees time off each month to volunteer.
3. Show support to nonprofits by donating your time to sit on their boards. Nonprofits have both boards of trustees who have a fiduciary responsibility and also advisory boards that provide advice on a range of issues. Board members help guide the direction of the organization and can have a substantial impact.
4. Partner with your customers in your philanthropic efforts. 24Notion asked one of their clients, a Project Runway contestant, to collaborate in designing a fundraising t-shirt for another nonprofit. This is a win-win situation for both the customer who receives additional publicity and visibility and the nonprofit who receive services they would not be able to afford.
5. Publicize your efforts and become a role model organization. Publicity will also provide additional support for the nonprofit. An event like a tradeshow, grand opening or launch can become a donation point for a charity such as a food bank or women’s shelter. Including the information that donations will be accepted for that charity in promotional materials positions the organization in a positive light and with a link to the charity’s website will increase the support they receive.
6. Sponsor scholarships and awards for students in majors relevant to your business. You are helping to build the pipeline for future employees and elevating your overall organizational reputation. Make sure that your organization reaches out to the students after they have received the award as well and invest in their success. This will extend the positive word of mouth among the students’ friends.
7. Create a social corporate responsibility report to let customers and investors know about your efforts. These reports can highlight successes and encourage additional support for the nonprofit.
8. Look beyond employees and products to your business’ infrastructure when you think about providing support. Organizations can volunteer to host events and donate catering from their cafeteria’s to help cut costs. Expense control is critical to nonprofits, a free auditorium can make the difference in the success or failure of a fundraising event.
9. Think locally, nationally and globally when identifying ways to support nonprofits. Many nonprofits use their donors’ names to help drive fundraising efforts.
10. Build close ties to the organizations your support. Ongoing engagement deepens your knowledge of the organizations you are supporting and may help you come up with unique ways to help.
“2012 was our best year yet, said Ivo Lukas. “Our goal for 2013 is to continue to broaden our impact and find ways to help our customers and other organizations to become even more engaged in corporate social responsibility.”