Will Your Donation Matter to the Media?

Anniversaries and holidays are often the time of the year when law firms make contributions to their favorite charities. They want to make an impact in the community, commemorate the occasion as well as generate some nice PR as a result.

A perfect example is the announcement today by Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Cresi LLP. The firm and two of its partners donated $1.125 million to the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. According to the Herald, this is the largest gift from a law firm and its partners in the college’s 113-year history. The generous gift creates two endowment faculty positions and expands the school’s scholarships for women. Plus, it honors the firm’s 75th anniversary. That’s a nice package and a great PR opportunity for the firm.

But not all gifts are created equal nor will they all garner the type of press desired. So, when consideration making a donation on behalf of your firm this holiday season or to honor your 10th, 25th or 50th anniversary, think back to Robins Kaplan. Is your gift news worthy? And will it truly make an impact in the community? If not, do not expect to get a lot of media attention. Especially in larger media markets where you are competing with major corporations that make it an annual tradition to give away a significant amount of money.

If you do not have the funds or resources like Robins Kaplan, but you want to do something, be creative. Don’t just give away money. Do think about what will make an impact on the people who are benefiting from your generosity. Real stories of real people making a difference always play nicely with the media, especially if you can include human interest stories of the people directly benefiting from your efforts.