Why give back?
Where good causes and good business intersect
Everyone has faced a stack of “ask” letters. “Please give to your alma mater.” “Support a starving child.” “Will you volunteer?” Businesses face the same dilemma: So many good causes, so little time.
Or, so we think.
All causes are not created equal. It’s time to reassess how companies approach their community involvement and answer the question:
As a PR or community relations pro, how can I make a compelling case for contribution to my company president?
This white paper guides you through assessing your company’s offerings and capabilities, as well as incentives for involvement. Bonus: a nuts-and-bolts guide to get your contributions system in working (donating) order.
Things to Consider
What are the target audiences of our product or service? Which organizations would connect us to these audiences?
What services and/or products can our company offer to the asking organization?
How much money does our company have to spend on philanthropic endeavors — standard donations, advertisements and sponsorships?
How much time could our company give to a charity (one day per quarter/half year/year)?
What causes are dear to the leadership’s hearts? To our audiences’ hearts?
What’s in it for the giving company?
Reach your company’s target audiences with an enhanced message Being involved in a cause generates marketing and advertising opportunities you might not otherwise have. Moreover, you can use these to tout your goodwill—something consumers increasingly care about.
Media coverage is tough to come by, especially for a retail product. Your partnership shows that your company cares about the community, special causes and improving the world.
There’s nothing like a business team uniting for a worthy cause to pale office politics and workplace tensions. Positive volunteer memories can smooth differences and serve as relational glue during tough times.
Donor and volunteer connections are some of the most sacred relationships in the world. Causes unite, energize and provide a sense of purpose.
Nuts and Bolts
Proactive contribution approach
Once the team has determined the ideal parameters of its giving, develop a submission form for asking organizations with questions that will help determine a good fit: focus of the organization, what makes it worthy of help and how the organization could use your time/money/services. Then, ask organizations to submit their entries for consideration.
Reactive contribution approach
Establish a quarterly review of charitable requests. Use the “Things to consider” outline and the questions listed in the proactive contribution approach, above, to determine the best fit(s) and contributions.
Once the decision has been made and recipients notified, use internal communications to notify staff of giving decisions and volunteer opportunities. Work with the chosen organizations’ designated staff to coordinate the partnership announcement (and don’t forget social media!).
Remember: What goes around comes around! And philanthropy can come back around to companies with many tangible and intangible benefits.
Bohlsen Group offers organizations the best of both worlds: all the benefits of an independent agency – direct access to proven professionals, focused attention on needs and budget, creative solutions and quick responses – with the connections, resources and reach of a global PR company. Get to know us at bohlsengroup.com.