It is important for business owners to give back to the community and show their support for causes they believe in. Of course, the moral motives for doing this are reason enough. However, your charitable actions can also help your business to compete with the bigger companies in your industry, so there are numerous benefits of going down this route. Below, we reveal how to make charitable giving work for your firm while also providing some creative fundraising suggestions.
Why do you want to give back?
You need to begin by determining why you want to give back. It is important to be honest with yourself. Simply stating that you want to help others is too general. Perhaps you were lucky enough to get a scholarship to go to university, so you want to ensure that other people have the same opportunity? Maybe you lost a family member to cancer, so you want to do something to support cancer charities? Being clear about your motives is imperative, as it ensures your approach to charitable work is structured to suit your objectives. Of course, if you have ulterior motives for wanting to give back, be honest with yourself. A lot of business owners go down this route because they want to give back while also benefitting from tax breaks at the same time. Whatever your reasons, don’t try to kid yourself. Your motives will become transparent in any case due to the amount of time and energy you devote to the cause.
How do you want to give back?
There are so many different ways for businesses to give back to their communities and charities today. Once you know why you want to partake in charitable work, you should then brainstorm different ways of doing so. Make sure all suggestions are aligned with your business and your brand. It is a good idea to jot down your brand message and the core of your business. You can then compare this with your suggestions to see how well suited they are. Let’s take a look at a few suggestions regarding the different ways businesses can give to a cause:
- Leverage your relationships – Think about the people that you know that other people would like to know. These types of people are going to be an asset to your charitable efforts. For example, think about the various individuals you met at conferences and exhibitions. Perhaps one of the conference organizers could help you to organize something to raise funds or help others?
- Dedicate a portion of your profits – One of the quickest ways to give to charity is to dedicate a portion of your current profits. There are a number of ways you can do this. You could simply make a lump sum payment to a cause of your choice. Alternatively, you could give a percentage of every sale made on a certain product. For example, if you sell chocolate cupcakes at your bakery, you could donate 15% of every sale to a specific charity.
- Make something specific for the cause – Depending on what your business does; you could create a service or product that relates to the cause, giving all proceeds to charity. A great example of this is the recent charity single that was put together by Simon Cowell, featuring musicians such as Stormzy, Rita Ora, and Ed Sheeran. The single was a cover of ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water,’ and it was released to generate money for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire. There are so many creative ideas for fundraising in this manner. Going back to the bakery example, why not create your own special cake or pastry for the cause you are supporting? If you run a clothing company, sell stylish T-shirts with the charities logo printed on the front. The options are well and truly endless!
- Organize an event – You could also organize a fundraising event. This is a great way to get the community together, spread word about the cause, spread word about your business, and have fun in the process too. There are so many fantastic examples of companies getting involved in charitable fundraising events. You have probably heard about No Birds Bash. No Birds got involved in Australia’s Variety Bash, which is the country’s biggest motoring event. Participants travel to rural parts of Australia to see places they wouldn’t otherwise see. In the process, they raise a huge amount of money for children who have special needs or are disadvantaged or sick. It’s so much fun, yet it raises money for an amazing cause, which is what these type of events are all about.
Spread the word…
Simply getting involved in charitable giving is not enough. You need to spread the word too, so focusing on the marketing side of things is very important. After all, just because you build something does not mean that people are going to come, and there is a lot of competition when it comes to money for charity.
You will find that you will be much more successful if you leverage the work you are already doing with your business. No good deed will go unnoticed if you let people know. Leverage regular communications to let your customers know about the work you are doing. Think about your delivery. After all, why should your clients care about your charitable work over the other charitable work that other businesses are doing? The best thing to do is share the story behind your decision. This is what is going to connect your customers to the cause.
This is not a story that should already have an ending, however. The best thing to do is view your charitable work as an adventure. Keep people abreast of your progress. Let them know the money you have raised, as well as the impact it is making. You should also get the charity to post new stories about your efforts, as well as messages on social media. You can both use each other to create more exposure for the cause.