As we approach 2015, there are five things businesses, foundations and non profits can start now to make a greater social impact in the year ahead:

Time for a tune up. Are you achieving what you set out to do? We find that at around the 3-5 year mark of a CSR or grant making initiative it’s time to assess whether it’s on track and consider shifting strategies and tactics for the new year. How can you make a greater impact?

Tax time comes up fast. Will you wait to decide on a charitable gift so long that you default to “checkbook charity” again? There is still time to thoughtfully articulate your vision and construct a purposeful and engaged giving plan with tax benefits.

Are you collecting metrics and stories for your annual report? Now is a good time to add a benchmark on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and/or sustainability. The improvements and investments in facilities, diversity, safety, community relations and advancing mission contribute to the bottom line and are the stuff your stakeholders (especially those maturing millennials) want to know.

Showcasing what you’re doing. Your organization is doing amazing things! Are you getting any credit for it? Sharing the stories of your positive social impact more than elevates your reputation. Your leadership is powerful and can spark a broader movement toward change.

New in 2015! How are you deploying your intellectual capital to refine your product or innovate a new one to make a greater social impact? Manufacturing processes and ingredient sourcing are getting greener, labels are more transparent and human rights are audited. Philanthropy is more mission focused, incorporating multiple iterations of financial capital, from traditional grants to social impact bonds, to make a difference.

These first five will spur ideas for the next checklist of course. We are glad to dig deeper with you and help you make a greater social impact

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