How your propane operation can give back this holiday season

December 10, 2018 By    
Your business can get involved by either hosting a Toys for Tots event or becoming a toy drop site. Photo:

Your business can get involved by either hosting a Toys for Tots event or becoming a toy drop site. Photo:

Deciding how you want your retail propane operation to give back each holiday season can be tough due simply to the sheer amount of charitable organizations. Some businesses have annual traditions and partners they’ve worked side by side with for many years, and others may be looking for new ways to give back.

There are many charities that accept monetary donations online, so it’s important to be cautious when selecting the charities you work with. You should first find out if an organization is trustworthy and ethical. Unfortunately, some organizations make claims that are untrue, and some organizations may not even be real.

The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance provides five tips for avoiding charity scams this holiday season:

1. Watch out for name similarities. When charities seek support for the same cause, their names are often similar. Before you give, be sure you have the exact name of the charity to avoid a case of mistaken identity.

2. Avoid on-the-spot donation decisions to unfamiliar organizations. The holidays bring a higher frequency of donation requests outside public locations. Don’t succumb to pressure to make an immediate giving decision. Responsible organizations will welcome your gift tomorrow as much as they do today.

3. Be wary of emotional appeals. Charities have been known to exploit the holidays to make emotional pleas to donors. Always research to verify that your selected charity operates ethically.

4. Avoid charities that don’t disclose. Although participation is voluntary, charities that don’t disclose any of the requested information to the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance raise a critical red flag for donors. Visit to find out if your selected charity is nondisclosure.

5. Rely on standards-based evaluations. Charities can demonstrate they are trustworthy by agreeing to in-depth evaluations, such as the 20 Better Business Bureau Standards for Charity Accountability. Those charity reports can also be viewed at

If you want to become more involved with a charity rather than just donating money, there are several well-known charities you can work with. Whether you’d like to donate labor, services, goods or money, here are a few to consider:

Toys for Tots is a widely known charity. The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation collects and distributes toys for underprivileged children through the month of December. Your business can get involved by either hosting a Toys for Tots event, becoming a toy drop site or by your employees volunteering at a local warehouse.

The 25th Project is a nonprofit organization that gives food and living essentials to the homeless population in Washington, D.C., on the 25th of each month. The organization also collects and donates propane and propane tanks and distributes them to the homeless population living in tents for them to use as a heat source. Your business could become involved by either donating money, propane or propane tanks to the homeless.

Feeding America is a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that feed more than 46 million people through food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other community-based agencies. Feeding America is one of the most well-known and largest charities in the United States.

You don’t have to directly work with a charity in order to give back. Other options could include organizing a company outing to visit seniors in nursing homes, passing out hot meals to the homeless, or serving meals at a local shelter. A simple “coin jar” could also be used to collect money for charities year-round.

Research different charities and their trustworthiness, choose one that aligns with your retail propane business’ values and take the next step to giving back to your community this holiday season.

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