Most consumers (89%) believe businesses should support charities, hardly news, but the same study revealed nearly half (47%) would choose to purchase goods or services from a company that does over, one that doesn’t (according to a 2013 study commissioned by the financial services organisation, Foresters).
Supporting a charity doesn’t just give you a warm and fuzzy feeling inside; it can also raise your profile amongst competitors and create great PR opportunities. Whatever the size of your company, get all of your staff on board from the beginning by inviting them to nominate charities they would like to support. Raising money together will create great opportunities for team building and by having a fund-raising committee; you provide staff development opportunities and don’t acquire an excessive additional workload for yourself. From a PR perspective it is a good idea to support one charity for a fixed amount of time, perhaps a year, to maximise the amount you raise, and provide more opportunity to demonstrate your business’ values and commitment. It doesn’t have to be a big national charity, supporting your local hospice or animal sanctuary shows the same amount of compassion, ethics and dedication. All of which can be mentioned in award submissions as well as promotional material and press releases.
There is a subtle difference between supporting a charity and sponsoring charitable events, but both complement each other and provide profile raising opportunities. Do consider your target market when sponsoring a charitable event; there is no point in having a presence at an event that is not going to create opportunities for you. Before you start shaking your head at the calculated approach to an altruistic gesture; charities understand, after all they do have to market themselves.
So if you don’t already support a charity, call a staff meeting and ask for ideas. Raising money is not just about raising your profile, it is about helping a worthy cause, having fun, uniting your work force and yes, it is also about having a warm and fuzzy feeling inside!