Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Corporate Giving in Your Nation's Capital: An Inside Look at the American Red Cross Ready 365 Giving Program

Written by: Reed Mszar, volunteer

The American Red Cross Ready 365 Giving Program is targeted to local corporations seeking to provide financial support to the Red Cross in the $25,000 - $75,000 (mid-level) giving range. Ready 365, not only standardizes the rights and benefits for corporate donors of the Red Cross, but it also highlights two valuable principles. The first is that in order to make a significant difference in the community, a certain level of give-and-take is necessary. The giving program helps bring in financial support from local businesses for the Red Cross to use when responding to local disasters like floods and home fires and also provides the same corporations and foundations an opportunity to gain a valued relationship with the Red Cross brand and thus, enhance their reputation in the community. Depending on the company’s giving level, ranging from Bronze all the way to Platinum, they will also be recognized in front of other Red Cross supporters.

The second ideal that Ready 365 embodies is that no matter who you are or where you live, you can help your community and those in need. Prior to Ready 365, there was no consistent framework for annual corporate giving at the mid-level giving range specified above. This inevitably led to a great deal of variation in mid-level giving programs among different Red Cross chapters across the country. It is expected that not all businesses who wish to support the efforts of the American Red Cross can give to the same degree as others. Ready 365 takes this fact into consideration as the benefits of joining the program are flexible based on the market size of the region in which the company is located and the capacity at which they can give. Regardless of how big or small a corporation is, there are now clear guidelines on how they can best maximize their gifts to their local American Red Cross.

The most recent company to join Ready 365 in the National Capital Region is Host Hotels and Resorts in Bethesda, Maryland. Without companies like Host Hotels and Resorts, we at the Red Cross would not have been able to respond to over 477 local disasters and teach 54,728 people lifesaving skills in an array of classes in the past year. Ready 365 provides the American Red Cross the flexibility to apply the gifts where the need is greatest.

Companies and foundations who choose to join Ready 365 and develop a valuable relationship with the Red Cross will have the opportunity to enhance their existing reputation, deepen relationships within their community, generate donations to give back to vital markets, and have their gifts highlighted through high-traffic communication channels. A variety of specific benefits are also outlined in the local benefits matrix depending on a company’s particular giving level.

Ready 365 certainly has the potential to build stable and lasting relationships between the American Red Cross and regional business looking to make a difference in the lives of many every day.

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