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The Many Benefits of Charity

(February 2013) posted on Tue Feb 26, 2013

Please consider supporting a local non-profit today.


By Ben P. Rosenfield

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I’ve had the privilege of serving on the Board of Governors of an incredible non-profit for the past couple of years, so I can tell you with absolute certainty that donations of all types and sizes are essential to continuing its mission. Of course, this holds true for all non-profits, not just Children’s Dyslexia Centers of Cincinnati—the 501(c)(3) with which I’m so very proud to be involved.

I’ve found that the printing community, whether we’re talking garments or graphics or ad-specialties, is pretty darn generous when it comes to helping non-profits. That’s a good thing for several reasons. The most obvious and most important one is that organizations that exist to do good work get a helping hand. But also think about some of the other benefits:

1. As you know, printing is widely viewed as a commodity. Buyers are content to walk away from your shop if the guy up the street is a couple of cents cheaper. Developing the good reputation that comes with being charitable will help your company stand out in the best way possible. Personally, I’d sooner take a job to a shop that gives back—and maybe pay a little more—than accept a less costly bid from a company that does nothing in its community.

2. Making an in-kind donation of goods saves non-profits some serious expenses. These materials could be capital-campaign booklets, event brochures, and other collateral that can help them raise awareness and funds.

3. There’s another side to the in-kind equation: the disposable stuff—pens, cups, and temporary signs or graphics, for example. These projects help you get rid of excess stock, ink, and more. A time-sensitive, event-specific brochure is the perfect job for the extra paper gathering dust on a pallet somewhere. A short run of shirts for volunteers who work in a community garden is a fine way to remove the couple dozen lime-green v-necks from your inventory—you know, the ones left over from that strange garment job you handled six months ago. And you can mix down excess inks into one color to put on those shirts. The garments will be covered in dirt and worm guts soon enough, so what’s the difference? The non-profits will appreciate it.

4. Cash is king. It will come back to you eventually, because non-profits aren’t shy about referring people to the companies that help them. Chances are, you’ll realize a return on your gift sooner than you might think. I know that’s not the reason you’re giving, but it’s a real benefit that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Charity is eternal. Even after the donated pens run out of ink, the donated shirts fade from washing and wear, and the donated signs are tossed out, the memory of your charitable gift remains. It remains forever, even if just one person’s life is improved as a result.

Please consider supporting a local non-profit today. If you're already helping in your community, try to find a way to increase your giving, even just a little. After all, the smallest gifts can make the biggest impact.

Thank you.


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