From choosing the right cause to align your business with, to launching a marketing campaign around a socially responsible project, we’ve outlined some simple steps for any business related ventures in giving and philanthropy.
1.) Shared Values - Link up with a cause your company can identify with—from shared values to potential reach. Many successful campaigns have been created from a strong company initiative to answer pressing social issues. For example, the Nike Foundation’s work with the “Girl Effect” prioritizes girls’ education, health, and economic investment in impoverished areas of the world. Initially a venture with the Novo Foundation, United Nations Foundation and Coalition for Adolescent Girls, this collaboration has managed to become a movement it its own right.
2.) Beyond Corporate Responsibility - Keep in mind, your contributions as a company should go beyond your corporate responsibilities and donations (in monetary and product forms). Be willing and be prepared to spend time outside of the office to attend events or to offer your own expertise in your field of work. For example, if you work in the world of marketing, share your skills and knowledge to generate awareness for an event or to help plan an upcoming fundraiser with your colleagues.
3.) Long Term Goals - In establishing this alliance, think about your long term goals and how you can benefit one another. Discuss how cross promotions will work and how you can develop each other’s brands and networks through the exchange of logos, marketing collateral, and through the dispersal of newsletters. Dedicate a webpage to the cause on your company website—update it regularly with current projects or with upcoming events.
4.) Launch A Campaign - Solidify your partnership by launching a unique campaign around your core group of followers. The best way to elicit action and support is through a promotion, pledge of support, or even a scheduled event held every year.
5.) Genuine Interest & Passion - Consumers have shown growing interest in companies that are strongly tied to cause related campaigns and non-profit organizations (think Toms Shoes and its retail success). Now, more than ever, it is imperative that your intentions to align with a particular cause come from a good place within. Your customers want to be a part of something good and will gladly invest their time and money in a worthwhile initiative. Imagine the mountains you can move with the support of your employees, audience, and fans. Just as long as your passion is genuine and others pick up on that, you can make a lasting difference.