The Value of a Good Cause or Charity to your Business Profile
Supporting a local club or organisation, global charity or social cause not only creates good karma for your business profile but it can build your direct sales and referred business as well.
Creating this structure within your business not only enables you and your team to feel all warm and fuzzy, it also provides a clever marketing angle and contributes to sound long term business strategy.
Supporting charities, social causes and giving back to your community is a great way to: build your network; increase staff morale; raise the profile and good will of your business; get more clients; grow your business; provide your customers the opportunity to feel good about their interaction with you; and gives you genuinely good material for your communications and social media platforms. Some would argue that neglecting to include this tactic in your business model is sabotaging your social profile and actually turning customers and business away towards your competitors who show they have a conscious.
However, like all things, the strategy behind this tactic must make sense financially otherwise it, and your business, will not be sustainable in the long-term.
Many business owners and entrepreneurs are torn between their desire to make a difference and meeting their financial needs and goals. However, the two objectives can work in harmony and make a real difference to both your bottom line and the cause you choose to support so its important to be authentic and get it right.
Here we touch on ten tips on how and why this type of Good Samaritan activity can make your voice loud and proud while benefitting the growth of your business.
- You’ll touch the lives of more people and make a difference to their lives
It’s an obvious warm and fuzzy and should be one of the two most important motivators to undertaking this type of activity, but if you like to help others, genuinely care and believe in the cause you support, or are motivated to make a difference, supporting charities or social causes through your business is an easy way to be of greater service and touch the lives of more people. There is nothing more rewarding than giving something of real worth or really helping someone in need. It’s an achievement and one that you can trumpet with pride. And also one that your customers can be a part of feeling proud about! Make sure you tell them!
- It’s a great way to grow your business
You don’t need to wait until you have money to support social causes. There are so many ways to link your business to a variety of social causes and turn it into a giving force. Some of these include:
- Donate a percentage of your sales or profits to charity
- Make ad-hoc financial donations
- Make regular financial donations
- Donate a product for every product sold – this can be the same product or a different one. It doesn’t matter and you set the rules.
- Donate resources for every product sold – here you make a donation of something needed by those you want to help (for example a mosquito net, food to feed a child for a month, or to pay for a child’s education) every time a specific product/ service is sold.
- Donate unsold stock – rather than sitting on old stock or throwing it out, find a cause that would really appreciate it.
- Invite buyers to make a donation when making a purchase –a charity box at the checkout or you might add an optional donation to your checkout process.
- Buy from similarly minder business and support their social crusade – doing business with others that also have a social conscious is a great opportunity to have more positive social impact, at no extra cost. This could even save you money and will certainly help others.
- Social outsourcing or hiring – similar to social sourcing, this is where you employ or contract individuals who have experienced personal challenges (such as poverty, abuse, neglect, war, trauma or life-threatening injury or illness).
- Fundraising–this could be fundraising events, charitable sales promotions, or point of sale collections, at your place of work or incorporated into other business activities.
- Volunteer your time and those of your staff who also wish to donate time – this could be with specialist skills you provide commercially through your business, or completely different skills that others need and would be grateful to receive. How much time and when is up to you.
- Become an ambassador or advocate for a cause
- Give personal introductions – connecting people is one of the most valuable gifts you can give.
- Give social causes access to business resources – when you provide resources to social causes you are helping them save money. This can also be used by your organisation as a way of engaging staff and undertaking team building activities.
- Sponsoring – this can be sponsoring a person, specific resources, event, or activity and can be with financial funding, time, resources or promotion.
- Collaborate with social causes – collaboration is a powerful way to grow most businesses. Rather than only partnering with other businesses, how about considering how you could also collaborate with social causes.
- They need your support
Around the world, countries, communities, and individuals are increasingly relying upon charities, social projects and volunteers to provide critical services. There are plenty of charities and social causes who desperately need help and support.
- Greed is out – consumers want to buy from organisations who are doing good
Socially conscious consumers are a growing trend and a financially powerful one. People are now consciously choosing to buy from businesses that demonstrate they care about social impact as well as making a profit and that they share their success with those in the world that are not so fortunate. In this world of social media and business transparency, its easy for consumers to find and compare those organisations are doing the best job at sharing their slice of success.
- You’ll attract, engage and retain staff with similar values
In a similar way that younger generations are choosing to buy from companies who do good, many also have similar considerations when it comes to who to work for. The more you integrate social impact into your business, the greater the potential for creating opportunities that attract and retain people with similar values.
- You’ll build your contacts
When you get involved in charitable activities you’ll meet more people, and often these people are like-minded and willing to create a community to help each other out when it makes business sense. These are the types of relationships that are often long term, honest, strong and in the end profitable. Building relationships based on common values and strong emotional bonds often leads to more meaningful relationships, friendships, business partners, and clients.
You’ll also build a community of followers, clients, collaborators, and partners who resonate with your vision, message and brand and know that by buying from you they are helping a cause they believe in.
- Authentic social commitment stands out from the crowd
Do-gooding can be a crowded space in todays ‘tell everyone everything’ kind of approach. Therefore, your approach to being a good social citizen must be long term, sustainable, attached to a cause that you care and know about, and actually must be communicated in a way that is not self serving.
When you support a charity or social cause and put this at the heart of your business, this becomes part of your story, a reflection of your values and your brand. People who relate to this are more likely to feel a sense of connection and gravitate towards you and remember you. You’re also more likely to get free media coverage, followers and recommendations. It’s good public relations and gives your business something to talk about outside of your core business. When it comes to getting clients, people like to work with, promote and buy from those they know, like and trust. Showing you are genuine in your commitment to a cause builds this trust.
- Make sure it’s sustainable – get paid well by those that can afford it and give to those that cant.
Not all people and businesses need help and you must make sure that those that need your services and can afford them pay you accordingly. This will mean you are able to support yourself and then develop a suitable and sustainable strategy of giving what you can to a cause of your choice.
- It’s satisfying and gratifying to give
Supporting a charity or social cause that’s close to your heart or resonates with your values will give you a deeper sense of satisfaction, connection, meaning and motivation – both for you, your staff and for your business. You can be rightly proud of any activities undertaken in this space and can tell people about them with pride.
- Increase staff morale, team cohesion and make your customer feel proud
Creating and pursuing a charity, local organisation or social cause with long-term commitment and authenticity will boost motivation and staff morale, build cohesion and a sense of purpose within your organisation and allow your customers to feel that they are also giving back when they do business with you. This will in turn grow sales and referrals from your customers. It will also allow you to retain skilled staff and increase their performance.
If set up properly to allow your business to achieve the financial goals it needs while creating an authentic social strategy, giving back can pay great dividends to your bottom-line, your profile, your customer satisfaction and your continued success.
Blogs and resources referenced in the writing of this blog.