As you look around, you may notice that more businesses are centering their brands around charitable giving than ever before. No matter what industry your business serves, it can be beneficial to explore the opportunities for altruism both within your community at a local level as well as in a broader context. While your company’s products and services may benefit consumers and improve people’s lives, having a charitable component to your company can have a far-reaching impact in several ways.
Many businesses have already discovered the benefits of creating a company culture that supports nonprofits, and what better way to show you are a model of corporate responsibility than to engage with those who are solving problems within your community?
So what can supporting a nonprofit really do for your business?
- Attract New Customers and Gain Support of Existing Customers
Today, many consumers care about social causes and want to feel that the companies they are purchasing from have values that align with their own. Allowing the customer to feel like they are contributing to the betterment of society simply by supporting your business is a way to stand out over companies with no clear ethical stance. We must ask ourselves, what do consumers want to see from a business?
- That they are devoted to improving their community and show a willingness to invest in solving societal problems
- That they are a business that is striving to make a positive impact on the world
- That they not only give money but also their time and resources to nonprofits and social causes
Anyone can write a check, but real engagement with local and national nonprofit organizations shows that your company is truly more concerned with what is right than just the bottom line.
- Create Networking Opportunities
Being active at the local level allows you to stay connected and meet more people who also care about your community. The people you get to know not only have the potential to become loyal customers but will also promote your business to their family and friends. As you become more engaged, your businesses will gradually build a reputation for caring about the well-being of others and social causes, and that is important for any business wanting to define itself and stand apart from the competition. Consumers who care about similar causes will be drawn to your company because of its like-mindedness even if they would have otherwise been unlikely to purchase your products.
- Build Your Brand
Branding a business is as important as it is difficult. Most of the truly successful companies have a clear brand and identity that we can instantly recognize. But smaller or newer companies wishing to grow may find it challenging to build a recognizable brand. When your business aligns itself with charitable causes, however, this can build and define your brand alone. Take Tom’s Shoes, for instance. The brand IS charitable giving. It is inseparable from its cause. “Buy one, give one.” It’s that simple. And yet, that clear, concise message of giving back is what embodies this shoe company and has helped build it into the large, profitable business it now is. Even better, consumers feel good buying products from them, knowing that by doing so, they are helping to give to someone in need.
- Your Business Benefits Financially
We understand that initially it may seem difficult to justify the ROI of supporting non-profits and making charitable contributions, however companies with a clear ethical and moral compass are the future of business. Millennials (and soon Gen Z) make up a massive cross-section of consumers and are more concerned than ever about what types of companies they are supporting. Let’s look at some recent research done on consumer habits from the Cone Cause Evolution Study:
- 85% of consumers have a more positive image of a product or company when it supports a charity they care about.
- 83% of Americans wish more of the products and services they use would support charitable causes.
- 80% of Americans are likely to switch brands to one that supports a charitable cause.
These numbers speak to the incredible power of aligning your business with a definable cause and supporting a non-profit organization. The facts are clear. Giving money and resources away will, in the long run, cause your company to become more profitable. And who doesn’t like a win-win?
To learn more about how your business can engage nonprofits in your marketing plan, please schedule a free consultation with Oster and Associates!