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Forum to focus on Sewickley area business-nonprofit bond

| Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

As a nonprofit director, Doug Florey said he is appreciative of the support local business owners offer to causes.

And as a small business owner, Cora DeLoia said she realizes the importance of supporting nonprofit events.

But Florey and DeLoia said they each understand the strains of what they call “solicitation fatigue” — that is, an abundance of requests business owners receive from nonprofits.

As part of the Sewickley Valley Chamber of Commerce's Professional Development Series, the chamber and the Sewickley Non-Profit Consortium will partner Tuesday morning to offer a panel discussion and group forum to enhance the relationships shared by Sewickley area nonprofits and small business owners to create effective nonprofit giving.

“We rely on the support of the community to keep us going,” said DeLoia, chamber president and owner of Spoiled Chics, The Boutique. “We want to give back to the community.

“We felt that this collaboration between for-profit businesses and nonprofits would be a way to educate each other to make this philanthropic effort a win-win for everybody.”

DeLoia said she would like to see other business owners attend to share feedback and help to create guidelines she hopes will offer insight into how donation requests can be handled.

“We always have different nonprofits knocking and asking for a donation or a gift certificate,” she said.

Florey said he hopes the event creates communication between nonprofits and business owners on how to increase awareness of fundraising events and donations offered.

“Nonprofits expressed concern that even when businesses do make a charitable donation, they're not getting all of the benefits out of that that they could,” he said, adding that business owners could receive a tax write-off and added publicity.

Florey said by talking with business owners, the discussion could help fundraising events find more support.

“Nonprofits are really savvy at having social networks — and some businesses are, too — but because we rely on donations, we're probably ahead of the curve,” said Florey, who serves as director of the Laughlin Children's Center and founder of the nonprofit consortium. “There are some strategies nonprofits use that merchants can tap into to benefit businesses.

“So if you're having a trunk show and proceeds will benefit the Laughlin Children's Center, the business could rely on Laughlin Children's Center to get word out about that event.”

Bobby Cherry is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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