THE BLOG

5 Creative Ways for Businesses to Give Back

04/22/2015 08:47 pm ET | Updated Jun 22, 2015

Volunteering or giving money to a worthy cause is awesome on its own. But why not make it interesting?

One of the coolest aspects about businesses today is the impactful (and creative!) ways they give back. Finding the fun in charitable giving ignites a passion in your staff, promotes teamwork and builds wonderful memories.

If you're thinking about how to integrate a unique charity program into your business, here are some great ideas from companies who are really shaking things up (and having a great time doing it!):

Make it Personal
Krish Himmatramka is the founder of Do Amore, a ring retailer who has fitted many a happy couple with beautiful wedding bands. When he proposed to his own wife, Krish was so happy that he became inspired to spread his joy around. He wanted to change more people's lives for the better and though really hard about a meaningful way to do that.

In his youth, he had spent time in under-developed countries and witnessed the devastation of not having clean drinking water. So he partnered with organizations such as CharityWater.org to create a new program for his store: for every ring purchased, Do Amore provides water for life for two people in underdeveloped countries.

So every time someone proposes, they're changing four lives for the price of two!

Make it Hairy (or Not...)!
Intelicare Direct (ICD), a customerservice solutions company, reminds us of our favorite elementary school spirit days! One of the charitable events the company hosts is a Crazy Hair Day - where employees come to work with (you guessed it!) CRAZY HAIR! For every insane hairdo, ICD donates a haircut to an individual who has been previouslyincarcerated and needs a second chance at life. With their new fresh look, these beneficiaries can feel more confident going out on job interviews and hopefully get back on their feet soon. I would definitely sport a hot pink mohawk for that!

Going the complete opposite direction is Body Logic MD - a company that specializes in hormone replacement therapy. Every October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, these guys hold an offsite event called "Buy a Baldy," in which their network of physicians sponsor certain male employees to shave their heads for the cause. All proceeds for this event are donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Last year, they raised over $20K from all those shiny bald heads!

Make it Matter
Unique Lady is a hotspot for prom dresses, but oddly enough - its owners didn't get to go to their own proms because they couldn't afford to at the time. Not wanting other girls to miss out on this important life event, they implemented a special program at their store: every year, they provide a complete prom to a group of girls that wouldn't normally be able to attend due to lack of finances. The girls are outfitted with a dress of their choice (ranging from$300-$1200), shoes and accessories.

Way to make it happen, Fairy Godmothers of Prom!

Make it Mutually Beneficial
The fitRaise platform allows individuals to earn donationsfor charity while they run, walk or cycle. Business owners can use fitRaise to make their corporate giving program even more impactful byencouraging employees to be more fit and active (which is shown to increaseproductivity and reduce healthcare and absenteeism costs).

With a fitRaise campaign the company can partner with any charity andpledge an amount for each mile that an employee runs, walks, orcycles during a month long campaign. The employees can also collectpledges from friends and family to make their giving impact even greater.

Each employee is giving to a great cause and getting better health in return!

Make it a Competition
The Chicago Charity Challenge has tapped into a very keen human characteristic: the need to WIN.

This organization teams companies with charities, encouraging contestants to be very hands on and creative in their volunteering. All of their work is tracked through an online platform, which can be viewed by all participants. Well, of course seeing how much everyone else is giving only make contestants want to give more of their own time and talents! At the end of the year, The Chicago Charity Challenge gives cash awards to the winners in the form of donations to their favorite charities.

These companies definitely turn up the fun factor on charitable giving. The best part is, they're changing so many lives while enriching their own. If you are developing your own charity program, try and tailor it to your company's culture as much as possible. The more personal you make it, the more meaningful it will be for your employees and the more likely your business will be to stick with it!