The Albertsons Companies Foundation is known for making an impact in the communities where it does business. Christy Duncan Anderson, Executive Director, has transformed the organization’s charitable giving from program-based to a comprehensive strategy that supports business and community needs. In a recent blog, Christy shared the journey she’s been on, beginning with her roots in philanthropy through recent efforts to increase the impact of the Albertsons corporate giving program.
In part two of my conversation with Christy, she shares her five field-tested keys to crafting a charitable giving strategy that delivers results. Based on the impressive results demonstrated by Christy and her team at The Albertsons Companies Foundation, and captured in this infographic, these are tips worth putting into practice.
- Define your audience and what matters to them
A solid strategy is based on community needs, not just relationships. So the first thing we did was spend a lot of time asking our customers and our employees what matters to them. Where are the gaps? What’s needed to improve the community? Are there regional differences we need to take into account?
- Focus on what makes sense for your business and audience
To be sustainable, the strategy has to make bottom-line sense. Our foundation wouldn’t exist if it didn’t increase brand affinity within our communities. Food security is a huge issue and since we’re a grocery chain, hunger relief makes perfect business sense for us as an area of focus. And it’s what our communities have told us they need.
- Find the right partners
Choose partners who have the skills and flexibility to grow and change as your needs evolve. Albertsons is fortunate to have great partners in Versaic for grants management and Mission Measurement for impact. They’re instrumental in helping us manage the chaos. They are not only great partners for planning our outreach, but they also help bring our ideas to life.
- Ask the right questions
What do you need to know from your non profit partners that will help you understand the impact you’re making? What information will help you communicate your impact to employees, customers and your broader audience? If you don’t ask the right questions up front, you won’t gather the data that will help you really understand and communicate your impact.
- Get creative on aggregating data
It’s worth spending some time figuring out the best way to grab attention for your charitable giving. Our Hunger Is initiative provided five million breakfasts to kids in need during 2016 – an impressive number. But it’s way more impactful when I tell people that we served the equivalent of three grown elephants in peanut butter, 450 bathtubs of dry cereal and enough eggs to reach to the top of Mt. Everest. Those mental pictures are worth a thousand words.
In sum, every company is different and the way you apply these tips will depend on the needs of your community and business. Seek out experts who can help you, whether they’re inside your organization or outside. I’m an avid reader and researcher and I’m always actively seeking new sources of information to help me refine our strategy. While we have a solid strategy in place that we follow, we also try to stay nimble so we can respond to the changing needs of the organization and community as they evolve. I’m guessing most organizations are like this, but one thing we can always count on at Albertsons Companies is that our business is always growing and changing!
KEYWORDS: Philanthropy & Cause Initiatives, Corporate Contributions, corporate philanthropy, corporate philanthropy programs, Philanthropy Impact, charitable giving, Versaic, csr, Albertsons Companies Foundation