Whatever the size and nature of your business, at some point you’ll likely be positioned to align yourself to a charitable or political cause. Whether it’s through an employee doing a sponsored activity to raise funds and awareness for a charity or through an organization approaching you directly, the relationship between cause and business is cosier and more mutually advantageous than ever.
Supporting a good cause is its own reward, but few entrepreneurs realize how positively it can affect their bottom line. From small independent enterprises to huge multinational leviathans like McDonald’s, businesses all over the world are allying themselves with positive causes to raise, their profile, generate leads and create positive associations with their brand.
Let’s face it, the contemporary image of big business has toxic connotations. The Gordon Gecko mentality of ‘greed is a virtue’ may be as much an ‘80s cliche as betamax, mullets and huge shoulder pads but it hasn’t stopped the general public from dismissing corporate executives as self-interested bean counters. It’s no longer considered a novelty for business (especially big business) to have a heart, it’s virtually compulsory. The digital age has ushered in an unparalleled degree of transparency and accountability meaning that if a company gains a bad reputation for acting dishonestly or unethically there really is nowhere to hide.
In an age where so much consumer behaviour is determined by social media, reputation is more important than ever. But cause advocacy isn’t just a PR exercise, it’s a legitimate business strategy. There’s no excuse not to steal this donation sample letter and ally yourself to a charitable cause today. Here’s why:
- Your competitors will notice- Other businesses will want to emulate your actions, but you’ll have the satisfaction of getting there first.
- People will talk- Consumers will become brand advocates, the press will take an interesting to you and you’ll become more attractive to suppliers.
- Your marketing costs will nosedive- Any publicity is good publicity and free publicity is the best of all. Cause advocacy will raise intrigue and awareness for your brand.
- Employees will be attracted to you- Employees (particularly younger employees) don’t just want a payday, they want to know they’re making a difference. Not only will you attract diligent and conscientious employees, you’ll ensure that they’re well motivated and dedicated to your brand, too!
- You’ll drive innovation- The race for sustainability has been proven to drive innovation. Just look at the way the motor industry has adapted to the pressures of consumers demanding that the industry be more environmentally aware.
- Monetary savings- Businesses everywhere are reducing their carbon footprints (and being very vocal about it), but not only will the public appreciate it, these practices will also consistently save you money.
- You will be at the forefront of a change in culture- Businesses live or die by their ability to be ahead of the curve when it comes to consumer trends and the various influences on their respective markets. In the age of digital commerce the customer is king. Consumers want to buy from brands that embrace innovation and ethics as part of their daily operations, rather than limping along behind the pack.