Charity and Business – How Can They Work Together?
The words “Business” and “Contact” are not two words that come easily to most people. Few people like the idea of being called upon to give an immediate response to an enquiry or being required to make a contribution to the support of a cause. More often than not, people like the idea of making money but hate having to think about spending it, whilst most people hate the idea of having to think about either. The irony is that making and spreading awareness about important issues is a key strategy for transforming a business into a charity.
A business can be defined as a commercial entity or corporation duly registered with a government agency in your chosen country or state that is designed to carry out particular activities for profit. Most businesses are either for-profit or non-profit enterprises that conduct primarily to meet a social purpose or further a charitable cause. In either case, there are many ways in which you can transform your business into a charity. If the area in which you live is renowned for poverty and disease then you may need to think about starting a food bank. If your community has many abandoned buildings then you may need to think about donating to a shelter or re-furnishing a building to ensure that those who live there have a roof over their head and something to sit on.
Charity and business overlap because many types of businesses are driven by profit and some, such as the aforementioned food banks and shelters, receive all or a part of their donations directly from people who live in the areas where they are located. In order to receive donations in these cases, charities need to make sure they have the appropriate intellectual property to protect the donations. Intellectual property refers to the intangible property owned by an individual, corporation or business entity that can include trademarks, patents, designs, data bases and the like. Without protection, charities and businesses can find themselves open to claims of plagiarism and infringement if another person uses the same ideas as their work. Protection can also ensure that confidential information cannot be obtained by third parties and that the identity of donors is kept private.