Non-profits in our community are one of the reasons Nebraska is a great place to live, work and raise a family. Whether they are providing food for the homeless, comforting grieving children, helping businesses be more environmentally friendly or providing other valuable services, non-profits play a vital role in our city. However, they cannot do it alone. Non-profits rely on the support of the individuals and businesses in our community to help them continue their mission. Some of them need donated supplies, while others may need volunteers to help them work with those who need help or to assist them at fundraising events.
Those who are in business have a special opportunity to help out non-profits. By getting the entire company involved, you can make a huge difference in how a non-profit is able to help those they serve. Most business owners and executives are willing to give to non-profits as they know it’s part of being a good community partner and because they truly want to help their city be a better place. The problem comes when they get confused about which non-profit might be the best match for them. No matter how much they might like to give to every charity, it’s simply not possible and choices need to be made. A successful match can lead to a fulfilling partnership and helping others, which is what every business (and non-profit) hopes for. Other than being good community partners and knowing they are helping (which are in and of themselves excellent reasons to support non profits), businesses can often build stronger relationships with their stakeholders through their charitable endeavors (for larger companies) and can also help them establish a more recognizable name for themselves in the community.
So the question becomes, how do you choose the best non-profit or non-profits to support that will result in a satisfying relationship on both ends? Here are some tips:
Make sure you know your business values. Make sure you have a mission statement that guides your daily operations. Often, when you have a clear mission statement or philosophy, you will see a natural connection between your business and a potential non-profit.
Find out what non-profits your clients support. Take a survey of your customers or clients and try to identify which causes or non-profits they support. When you identify what is important to them, you may not only find a fit for your company, but you’ll also have more insight into your valuable clients and what they care about, which is never a bad thing! Choosing a cause that resonates with your customers also shows them that you care about what is important to them.
Keep your employees in mind. Of course, you should always take your employees’ concerns into consideration when you are deciding on which non-profit to partner with. Identify if there is a need coming from within your company (perhaps one of your employees is fighting cancer or has an autistic child). Choosing a cause that your employees will care about will get everyone excited and will result in better participation.
Determine the guidelines for choosing a charity. Are there some criteria you’d like to adhere to, such as the size of the non-profit, how long it’s been in the community or whether it will do its work locally or nationally?
Pare down the list. Once you have done the above, you should have the list narrowed down to a manageable number. If you don’t, you might want to consider enlisting the help of someone within your company who can do a little more research into the non-profits to help with the selection process and get the list down to five or six.
Identify the non-profits who have similar mission statements. Choosing an organization whose mission statement and philosophy resembles or complements your own is important. Organizations that share the same ideals will likely work well with you toward a common goal.
Make sure you are comfortable with the organization. You shouldn’t just do internet research or read reports. You should actually meet with those who run the organization as well as some of those they help and some of their volunteers. If you are not comfortable with those you will be working with or helping, it’s likely that the partnership will not be a successful or satisfying one.
Test out the partnership. Before you do a full-blown campaign or commit a huge amount of money or time to a non-profit, donate to a small project with money, products or time and observe how the organization works during the process. You will get a sense of how well your organizations work together without a large commitment up front.
Now that you have a good idea of how to choose the best non-profits to complement your company, learn more about some of the wonderful organizations who are doing good right here in our community!
The Heart Ministry Center
The Heart Ministry Center is a full service agency providing over 70,000 acts of assistance each year. The Center is home to Omaha’s only choice food pantry allowing clients to select their own groceries. In addition, the Center has a clothing closet with no limit as to the amount of clothes a person may take. Every Wednesday the Center offers free medical care. Lastly, the Center operates several self-sufficiency programs including Pathway, which helps young mothers break the cycle of poverty.
For more information, contact John Levy at (402) 451-2321 ext. 101 or email email@example.com.
Catholic Charities Phoenix House
The Phoenix House is a domestic violence shelter and sexual assault program in Council Bluffs. The Phoenix House services are available to all people in need regardless of race, ethnic/national origin, religion, sexual orientation or marital status. Our services include confidential shelter, a 24 hour crisis line, legal advocacy, hospital response, education and support group and community based prevention work.
If you are in a violent relationship call our 24 hour crisis line 328-0266 or toll free at 1-888-612-0266
To make a monetary donation to the Phoenix House go to www.CatholicCharitiesDM.org and click on “Donate” or call 712-256-2059.
The Omaha Organization Development Network
The Omaha Organization Development Network is a group of professionals with the drive and expertise to help develop and shape today’s businesses. Through a network of OD professionals and other business experts, we engage the people-side of business to ensure the highest level of performance is attained.
Is your leadership engaging others to follow you? We are bringing best-selling authors to the Kroc Center Omaha on August 24th from 7:30-4:30 for our Leading Forward conference, highlighting emerging views of leadership.
This day has been built to interest and inform business executives, entrepreneurs, OD practitioners, coaches and current and future leaders from all industries.
Register today for the Leading Forward conference at www.omahaodn.org!
Outlook Nebraska, Inc. (ONI)
Established in 2000, Outlook Nebraska, Inc. (ONI) provides employment for the blind and visually impaired through our tissue converting facility that supplies 100 percent recycled fiber content washroom paper products to the U.S. Government and other customers. We are the largest employer of the blind and visually impaired in Nebraska. ONI provides additional services for its associates, including social activities, education, technology and adaptive aids training and health and wellness programs.
Anyone interested in employment opportunities or learning more about ONI can call 402-614-3331 x10.
Omaha Street School
The Omaha Street School is a private, faith-based high school, located in North Omaha, that works with students who are unsuccessful in traditional learning environments. Most OSS teens are involved in the juvenile justice system, live in poverty, and are academically behind peers. OSS helps them get their lives back on track, using a core competency model.
One key element is “Future Focus”, an individualized program designed to meet the needs of each student. Future Focus works with the whole student, and relies heavily on community partners to eradicate hopelessness.
For more information contact Shelley Pool, Education Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WasteCap Nebraska’s mission is to partner with business leaders to implement resource conservation strategies that improve profitability, community goodwill, and employee pride. WasteCap assists businesses through “green team” training, peer-to-peer networking, recycling technical assistance and sustainability planning. Community programs include a speakers’ bureau, fluorescent lamp and electronic scrap take-back programs, and a Guidebook of recycling service providers. Last year, members saved more than $100,000 through waste prevention, recycling and service discounts.
Needs: Seeking leading businesses that would like to increase their contribution to a healthy environment and society and a sustainable economy.
Contact: Rozz Beckman at (402) 436-2383 or email@example.com
Ted E. Bear Hollow
“What are we doing for our children when their hearts are broken following the death of a father, mother, sibling or other loved ones?” In greater Omaha, the answer is Ted E. Bear Hollow, a center for grieving children and their families. For ten years, Ted E. Bear Hollow has been providing free services: support groups, day camps, teen retreats and other programs to help young people heal. With this peer support and guidance, children and teens learn healthy coping mechanisms and are less likely to choose a harmful path caused by unresolved grief. Volunteers and donations make this work possible.
For more information, contact Nancy Hemesath at (402) 502-2773 or visit www.tedebearhollow.org.
Open Door Mission has welcomed the Heartland’s most vulnerable. As the face of homelessness transformed from a scruffy, middle-aged man into the unblemished innocence of a 9-year-old-child, Open Door Mission and Lydia House expanded programs and services to meet people in their need.
Everyday, Open Door Mission provides more than 400 men, women and children in the Heartland with safe shelter, serves more than 1,700 hot, nutritious meals, and through preventative measures empowers more than 250 individuals to remain in their own homes.
In addition to meeting basic physical needs, Open Door Mission offers life-changing programs for those recovering from addiction and abuse.
Urgent Needs: canned fruit, vegetables & meat, bottled water and over-the-counter medicine
Kids Can Community Center
The mission of Kids Can is to empower children and parents to reach their potential and enable older adults to maintain their independence. Located at 49th and Q Streets, Kids Can is not your everyday daycare. We offer programs for children 18-months to 13-years-old including preschool, childcare, before and after school services, tutoring, and out-of-school care. We also have a fantastic full-day summer program with many fun activities, field trips, and swimming! Kids Can is state-licensed, Title XX accepted. We also offer many community programs such as senior transportation, tax assistance, gymnasium/hall rentals, food pantry referrals and computer classes.
Contact: Terri Lewis at 402-731-6988 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Merrymakers is an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the seniors in our community by encouraging active participation, increasing social interaction and sparking memories through professional entertainment. For 25 years we have been bringing the seniors a moment of respite, a memory of younger times, a smile and an opportunity to forget about their troubles. As a sponsor for Merrymakers entertainment, you can be directly responsible for fun and laughter and singing and joy; and what a fantastic return on your investment! We have the best high quality professional musicians and vocalists in the area to provide our seniors with nourishment for their spirits.
Join us at our 21st annual fundraising event where we will Roast John P. Nelson, Chairman and CEO of SilverStone Group, on November 10th at the Qwest Center. For more information call (402) 697-0205, see our website at www.merrymakers.org or email our Executive Director at email@example.com.
Catholic Charities of Omaha
Since 1926, Catholic Charities of Omaha has been ministering to the greatest and most fundamental needs of the Archdiocese of Omaha. To the voiceless, hungry, addicted, abused and forgotten—regardless of race, religion, age or income—Catholic Charities provides sanctuary in times of hardship while opening doors for promising futures. Every year Catholic Charities helps and empowers more than 75,000 individuals and families making it one of the largest service agencies in Nebraska.
At Catholic Charities, we give shelter and safety to battered women and children, help feed the hungry, offer a recovery plan to those suffering from addiction, support and guide those faced with untimely pregnancies, and so much more. For more information, please visit www.ccomaha.org.
Together, Inc.’s mission is “Bringing Together our community to assist people in need with Hope, Dignity and Compassion.” Since 1975 we have helped families in Omaha struggling in poverty by providing free resources such as food, clothing and rent assistance. Together strives to be the leader in providing service to people in need, Education to inspire change and collaboration to sustain that change.
For more information, please visit www.togetheromaha.org.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands is a donor-supported mentoring organization, helping youth ages 6-18 reach their potential through professionally supported one-to-one relationships with measurable impact. Our mentees have higher aspirations, greater confidence, better relationships, avoidance of risky behaviors and educational success. To find out how you start something by donating, volunteering or advocating, call 402-330-2449 or get started at bigomaha.org.
Heartland Family Service
As the oldest agency of its kind in the region with a rich history of service and 136 years of proven success, Heartland Family Service is a respected leader in the human services field—identifying societal trends, anticipating client needs and creating solutions to the most urgent challenges facing individuals and families in need. Each year we serve more than 38,000 clients of all ages—most on a sliding fee scale—in the areas of addictions, child abuse, domestic violence, early childhood development, juvenile delinquency, mental health, neighborhood enrichment and poverty and homelessness, through 40 programs at 16 locations in eastern Nebraska and southwest Iowa. Learn more at www.HeartlandFamilyService.org or call 402-553-3000.
The National Safety Council, Greater Omaha Chapter
The National Safety Council, Greater Omaha Chapter promotes safety and health by providing programs, resource services and education to reduce both the personal and economic loss associated with injuries, accidents and health hazards. Our instructors teach the wide range of courses from behind the wheel driver education to teens, motorcycle safety training, behavior modification programs, defensive driving programs, first aid/CPR, child passenger safety and occupational safety and health training. In 2010 through more than 80 training programs and special events we reached just over 90,000 individuals providing safety and health support to businesses, families and the community at large.
For more information, please contact Brian Flaherty at (402) 898-7352.