Gateway Gazette

Furry Philanthropy: how BC & Alberta Guide Dogs Stand Out from the Pack

 

Top employers know that companies that give back are better able to engage and retain employees. Last year, The Globe and Mail reported that sixty percent of millennials said they prefer to work for organizations that are actively making their communities a better place. So giving back is good business, right? It turns out there are ways to make your corporate giving even more meaningful. Want to get your employees engaged long-term and boasting about your community involvement around the water cooler? One Alberta’s Promise agency partner has come up with a great donor-engagement model.

The Mom & Pups Fund is just one of several corporate giving options presented by BC & Alberta Guide Dogs that encourages long-term employee engagement.
The Mom & Pups Fund is just one of several corporate giving options presented by BC & Alberta Guide Dogs that encourages long-term employee engagement.

BC & Alberta Guide Dogs is a registered charity that breeds, raises and professionally trains service dogs for those who are blind or visually impaired, and for children with moderate to severe autism. The dogs are provided to clients free of charge as a means to achieve independence in their day-to-day activities. Some benefits include increased safety and mobility for those with visual impairments and improved security and social skills for children with autism.

To fulfill the organization’s mission and meet the growing demand for trained service dogs across BC and Alberta, the non-profit relies fully on donations, special events, and fundraisers to deliver their services. (It takes two years and $35,000 to breed, raise and train a service dog.) With a little creativity and the help of some furry friends, BC & Alberta Guide Dogs has come up with innovative ways to thank donors and keep employees engaged throughout the partnership.

BC & Alberta Guide Dogs, a registered charity that breeds, raises and professionally trains Guide Dogs and Autism Support Dogs, came up with corporate giving options that engage employees long-term.
BC & Alberta Guide Dogs, a registered charity that breeds, raises and professionally trains Guide Dogs and Autism Support Dogs, came up with corporate giving options that engage employees long-term.

From Puppy Scholarships of $250 to Adopt a Puppy pledges of $35,000, BC & Alberta Guide Dogs has tailored giving opportunities to fit any budget. What’s more, each pledge level keeps employees actively engaged. Once an organization is matched with a puppy or a mom and her litter, employees are sent regular updates and photos to keep in touch with their furry adoptee during the pup’s first two years. For $5,000, employees can also vote to name a pup, sometimes even choosing the CEO’s name to comical results. (See all the giving opportunities listed at www.albertaspromise.org.) Through ongoing communication, the non-profit has managed to increase employees’ connection to the cause by showing them how their gift is supporting a furry friend.

All companies can learn a thing or two from the ideas put forward by BC & Alberta Guide Dogs. Writing a cheque shouldn’t be the end of the story. No matter what your community investment strategy may be, ensure you have a plan to keep your employees engaged throughout the partnership. Internal email updates, quarterly meetings, or regular visits to the non-profit your company supports are all simple ways in which your company can instill a lasting sense of pride in employees. Thanks to organizations like BC & Alberta Guide Dogs, companies can enjoy the warm-“fuzzies” of giving back for longer than ever before.

 

Source Alberta’s Promise

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