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Teri L. Lanza,
Vice President

Tony Jones,
Contributing Editor/Store Manager

Amy Campbell,

Holiday Charities and Self-Storage Operators: Who Will You Reach Out to This Year?

By Amy Campbell Comments

The holidays may still be a few weeks away, but now’s the time to reach out to your community and offer help. Most charitable organizations have been working on their holiday drives for several months already and are now looking for partners. You may have even been approached by a charity looking for a free unit or monetary contribution.

If you haven’t worked with a non-profit in the past, make this the year you reach out and get involved. Your first step should be determining your level of involvement. Can you offer a one or more charities a free unit for a month or two? Can your facility act as a drop-off for a coat, canned food or toy drive? Or are you looking to contribute money to a local organization? If so, will it be strictly funds from the facility or are do you hope to get your tenants involved?

Once you know what you want hope to accomplish, you can identify one or more charities in which to partner. There are so many amazing charities out there covering seemingly everything—from animal care to food pantries to cell phones for soldiers. What are you personally interested in? Are you an animal lover? Perhaps you can partner with your local shelter to sponsor an adoption day at your facility Or simply ask tenants to drop off old towels and blankets and pet food you can then donate. This is something you can do year-round.

Are you interested in helping children? There are a number of charities—Toys for Tots being the most popular one—that collect toys for underprivileged children. Again, your facility can act as a local drop off or store the toys until distribution. You can also visit your local mall and grab a couple of “Angels.” Let your tenants know you’re collecting items for these kids. Or reach out to your local church or synagogue and find out what programs they’re running during the holiday season.

If you’re not sure which charity you’d like to reach out to, get online and do a search. Check your paper’s community section and find out what’s going on in your area. Or try a charity-matching website, such as Charity Navigator or the American Institute of Philanthropy. These sites can help you find charities located all across the globe.

A note of caution: While it is the Season of Giving, many will also try to take advantage of your goodwill. Here are a couple of guidelines from the Federal Trade Commission to ensure your holiday giving is successful.

  • Ask for the name of the charity if it's not provided.
  • Discuss the donation with a trusted family member or friend.
  • Don't provide any credit card or bank account information until you've reviewed all information from the charity and made the decision to donate. When paying by check, be sure to make it payable to the charity, not the solicitor.
  • Ask for a receipt showing the amount of the contribution and whether it's tax deductible.

Tell us about the charity you plan to support by posting a comment below or share your story with your peers at Self-Storage Talk, the industry's best online forum.



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