09/05/2012 02:38 pm ET Updated Nov 05, 2012

3 Ways to Be the Non-Profit Companies Love Giving to

There's something about having your cake and eating it too that appeals to me. The benefit of getting something extra without added effort or expense is hard to resist.

Serving as the beneficiary of a company's non-profit fundraising ideas can be this sort of cake. That's because workplace giving programs offer non-profits the perfect opportunity to receive "found" money while also benefiting from an added bonus -- a marketing campaign that grows awareness of their organizations.

A double whammy: funds and awareness. Double the reason to look at corporate donations as a nonprofit consulting alternative.

Employee volunteer programs and corporate giving programs have become a centerpiece of corporate philanthropy efforts. An estimated 89 percent of leading companies have a formal domestic employee volunteer program, 94 percent offer a matching gift program that supports employee giving by doubling or tripling employee donations -- and the average giving per employee of leading businesses reached $628 in 2010, according to the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy. So being chosen as the beneficiary of a company's workplace giving program will certainly reap financial fruit.

A non-profit's ability to market this relationship, however, is critical to maintaining a company's interest.  Companies like to know that their staff's fundraising is mutually beneficial, so it's important to highlight a company's contributions when it directs its corporate giving programs towards your nonprofit.

To that end, here are three ways that you can make sure a company's campaign on your behalf gets all the promotional play it deserves:

1. Push the press: Good press for doing good is always welcomed, so establish dates for sending results of the program to the nonprofit press and public. Work with the company's PR department to ensure that your messaging is consistent and complementary and that you're each targeting different press outlets.

2. Blitz the blogosphere: Put your social media skills to work and get the online word out about your fundraising company's largesse.  Three thousand dollars is vague; images of homeless vets eating a meal are not.  A picture speaks a thousand words and social media channels can yield hundreds of thousands of hits.

3. Create case studies: White papers featuring a fundraising benefactor reward companies for their hard work on your behalf and help them establish a permanent legacy for others to admire.  And outlining past successes helps future organizations understand what they need to do to make an impact with your non-profit.

When you get the word out about how a company's volunteer and giving program helped your organization, you demonstrate a savvy gratitude that encourages future corporate partners to work with you. The more you give, the more you'll get, so be smart about promoting the good work of your business angels.

Outside of direct corporate outreach, there's a new platform for getting donations and volunteers from corporations.  Causecast for Nonprofits takes your organization to the corporate volunteering and workplace giving programs of its corporate partners. When you're a part of a platform that connects you directly and regularly to a pool of employee donors and volunteers, you're five steps ahead of the game.

Remember, without funding your cause will run out of gas fast. A savvy non-profit executive knows how to get donations by aligning the ideal with the practical, in such a way that principles are preserved while opportunities for impact are maximized.