Contributing to charitable causes can be a great way to give back to the community that supports your small business. Whether you give financial donations or volunteer, it’s important to consider which [charities are the best fit](http://www.smartgiving.ca/finding-good-charities/how-to-find-a-good-charity) for your philanthropic efforts. Evaluate prospective nonprofit organizations by reflecting on their accomplishments, and consider which charitable concerns resonate with you and your employees. You might even want to create a corporate mission statement on charitable giving that aligns with your company philosophy. In addition to the personal satisfaction that comes from philanthropy, charitable work can create positive feelings that your community [associates with your business](https://quickbooks.intuit.com/ca/resources/public-relations/4-benefits-charitable-giving/).
## Make It Personal
In a small business environment, some of your employees are likely already involved in volunteerism and certain causes may hit close to home. If one of your team members is diagnosed with a serious illness, for example, their coworkers might feel highly motivated to support a charity that provides medical services, conducts research for a cure, or educates the public about tools for early detection. Personal connections generate passion for a cause. Participating in a marathon, collecting canned goods for a food pantry, or serving meals at a homeless shelter can also boost company morale and promote team building.
## Keep It Local
If you operate in a defined geographical area, take on [causes that have roots in the community](https://quickbooks.intuit.com/ca/resources/business-development/benefits-getting-involved-community). Consider raising funds for your local animal shelter, or write a check to support after-school programs in your area. It’s often easier to feel a personal connection to a small local charity than a large national organization. Actually seeing the positive impact a local charity has on your community is a powerful motivator for involvement. When employees and clients feel connected to a charity, they’re more likely to stay involved by signing up for extra volunteer hours or by making periodic financial donations after a fundraising campaign ends.
## Know Who You’re Supporting
There are thousands of charitable organizations across Canada, so do your due diligence when choosing a charity to support. It’s simple to research nonprofit organizations and their track records — [Charity Intelligence Canada](https://www.charityintelligence.ca/), for example, makes online financial reports available to the public and also affixes a rating to each listed charity.
Be sure to support organizations with a history of responsible stewardship of donations. If you can’t find financial information online or if the charity hesitates to provide an accounting of donations, that should send up a red flag.
Choose local, transparent charities that support causes with personal meaning for your employees and that fit your company’s mission statement. This helps everyone involved feel good about your company’s philanthropic endeavors. Be sure to record financial donations to receive the maximum tax benefits. The QuickBooks Self-Employed app helps freelancers, contractors, and sole proprietors track manage your business on the go. [Download the app](https://quickbooks.intuit.com/ca/self-employed/) and take control of your financial future.