txreisende (txreisende) wrote in non_profit,
txreisende
txreisende
non_profit

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Sometimes corporations aren't evil

I may have a screaming customer or some horrible thing happen tomorrow to change my mind, but right now, I am very happy with my company. We just started the 2008 annual Employee Giving Campaign, designed to help employees support their favorite charities. My favorite, Hostelling International, was unsurprisingly not on the list. Not a lot of people know about it, and it's a hard sell to get donations to a hostelling foundation when there are so many, highly visible good causes out there - AIDS, heart disease, breast cancer, environmental causes, human rights, animal rights, etc.

This could have been a problem. With AmEx, it was not. 2 minutes of research on my part to find the Tax ID number designating them a 501(c)3 nonprofit, and $20 from each paycheck now goes to HI-USA to perserve historic buildings through responsible conversion into hostel facilities. $520 a year. Amex matches every penny of that, bringing my yearly contribution to $1040. It's not a lot but it's what I can comfortably afford and I feel very good knowing that my company A. isn't going to judge what I choose to donate my money to and B. thinks it's cool enough that I want to give back to the community that they will help me make it a substantial impact. They'll do this for any employee for up to $8000 per year. Folks, that's more than 50% of the total yearly operating budget of some nonprofits. If I were on the board of a nonprofit and were donating to that organization, AmEx would double my contribution - basically, if I donated the maximum of $8000 per year - which I can in no way afford to do yet - they would donate $16K. Per year. That's $24K per year total, which I personally find just astonishing, and humbling, and makes me all kinds of happy.

Maybe a lot of Corporate America operates this way, but none of the bits I've worked for ever have, so...yeah. Pleased to be where I am, right now :)
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