The Autism Project – Producing Good

Business plays a larger role in society than producing goods and services. Producing good is part of the bigger picture, and much of it comes from supporting local charitable organizations.

But taking the first step can be the tricky part. Because the tapestry of charitable causes is so large, many companies focus on working with a single organization. A single-organization focus means the cause becomes familiar, knowable, and more personal. And you are able to see the benefits first hand.

There are lots of questions to ask. How do you choose the ‘right’ organization? How deeply should you be involved? What benefit from these relationships should be expected?

Find the right organization by asking yourself “What’s important to me?” What do you feel strongly about? Or, what do your employees feel strongly about? Is there an employee or employees already involved with a cause? The personal connection for employees enhances your employee relations and helps the cause.

How much involvement depends on your commitment. If you are working through employees already involved, let them continue to take the lead, and focus your time and attention on the major events or activities.

As far as benefits are concerned, the benefits of partnering with a charity are more than just feeling good. It’s OK to ask “What’s in it for me?” If there is something in it for you or the business, the greater the commitment you will have. And this doesn’t change much based on size; small and mid-size businesses can realize the same benefits as those of larger companies.

Among the benefits:

More connection with employees, and better employee relations

Opportunities to deepen relationships with customers and suppliers

Community recognition and publicity opportunities will illustrate your community support and goodwill, which never hurts when dealing with community influentials.

There are financial benefits, to be sure, in the form of tax breaks that recognize your charitable involvement. But these should be ‘icing on the cake’ and not the reason you do something. Few things in life can be justified based on tax benefits!


And, not unimportant in all this is the knowledge that you are helping make something important happen.

One non-profit organization that is organized to work with local businesses is The Autism Project. This 15-year-old organization is dedicated to serving children and young adults with autism and their families.

The need has grown exponentially in recent years with 1 in 88 births resulting in an autism diagnosis. This year more children will be diagnosed with autism than with AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined.

The Autism Project is proficient at supporting donor organizations. Over the years, local companies have done everything from fashion shows to dress down day to sporting events to gala dinner events or pasta nights. No effort is too small.

The organization provides dedicated professional support to donors for executing events or out reach programs.

The monies raised will directly impact local families, schools and the communities.  Families can access training and support groups; children and young adults can access ‘Social Skills Groups’ to teach them how to be productive citizens in their communities.

Educators take advantage of the numerous professional development programs as well as consultation by The Autism Project professionals for specific individuals in the classroom.

The community benefits as well by saving precious tax dollars. The support for families and schools helps to keep the children in district who would otherwise be sent to expensive out-placement in specialized institutions.

Working to improve the community and ‘produce good’ is a worthwhile investment of time. Whatever charity you choose, it is a win-win for everyone.

The Autism Project

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Avatar About the Author: The Rhode Island Small Business Journal is a printed monthly magazine and an online resource for the aspiring and start-up entrepreneur and small business owner.

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