By Jim Giammarinaro
President & CEO of the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce
FRAMINGHAM – There are many connections between businesses and non-profits. More than ever corporations and small businesses are reaching out to support our communities in a variety of ways. A major area is with financial support. Data from 2018 showed a continued growth in charitable giving from the private sector to its highest level ever at $427 billion dollars. Most of this giving comes from high wealth individuals. There is also a significant portion which comes from major corporations with nearly $2.5 billion from the top 10 corporations. Gilead was the leading company in this area donating $388 million to charity. Rounding out the top 10 are Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Google, JP Morgan, J&J, Phizer, Exxon Mobil, Bank of America, and Microsoft. Here in MetroWest many of our big companies and banks provide a consistent stream of donations to local non-profits.
Financial Donations are important, but it is more than that. The giving of time is also critical to many of our non-profits. Many non-profits are short staffed and can certainly use the direct help from businesses and interns to achieve their objectives. Most large corporations now have Community
Outreach/Development departments. Their goal is to connect their employees to organizations who need help. Companies have goals for Community Days and work to connect their employees to projects in our communities. Large companies in the region have reached out to the chamber to make the initial connections to the appropriate person at non-profits for the purpose of meeting their goals for community days.
Our smaller companies have also reached out to the chamber for opportunities to support area non-profits. Although they may not be able to contribute to level financially that a larger company can, there is no lack of willingness to contribute in any way they can. This spirit of giving money and time is so
important now as our area non-profits work to recover from the pandemic. Let us not forget that from a financial perspective non-profits function like any business. They need to be “in the black” to survive financially and need assistance from individuals outside their organizations to carry out the many tasks which support their mission.
The connection of interns to non-profits is very important to provide support to them in areas where they might not be adequately staffed or are short on expertise.
Locally, both Framingham State University and MassBay Community College have provided interns to non-profits primarily in the areas of Marketing & Communications. Our chamber office is located at the Innovation Center at Framingham State. We were provided with two interns for the spring semester to support our area non-profits.
Under the leadership of Eileen Davis, the Chamber’s Vice Chair for Non-profits, we were able to make connections between these interns and many non-profits. Our 2 interns were able to support a variety of projects for 7 area non-profits. Projects ranged from creating videos for websites to writing blogs and email marketing campaigns.
Moving forward our business community must continue to commit to our non-profits. Their health is very important in providing service to underrepresented populations and individuals with disabilities.
Recent history has shown that corporations can maximize stockholder wealth and at the same time provide both human and financial resources to our non-profits. There is no indication that this trend will stop moving forward.
Editor’s Note: SOURCE and the MetroWest Chamber have formed a partnership. The Chamber’s column will run on Tuesdays on the digital news media outlet.