Business and charity represent two different ways of gathering money, but marketing efforts are fairly similar.
Business and charity represent two different ways of gathering money, but marketing efforts are fairly similar.

The season of giving and generosity is upon us and Pinktober is behind us—it’s high time for individuals and businesses to get in the charitable spirit. Whether you’re volunteering at a Thanksgiving dinner or giving to your local foodbank, business and charity can go together like bread and butter to create a mutually beneficial relationship through the right partnership. If you’re interested in contributing some of your business’ proceeds to charity, there are some benefits and pitfalls to consider before launching a campaign.

Why You Should Support a Charity

Beyond the tax breaks and publicity that come from supporting a charity, it just feels good to give back. The operation of charitable organizations is dependent on the generosity of individuals and businesses like yours, and without these organizations, causes won’t get the attention they deserve. Getting involved in charity is also a great opportunity for networking and expanding your knowledge of the community around you.

Business and Charity Partners

Not all charity partners are made equal, and not all will coincide with the culture of your company, so it’s important to do your research. Take a look at administrative costs, what percentages of donations go where. There are plenty of resources to help you evaluate and compare different charity organizations.

If you’re a small business, it’s a great idea to partner with a local charity or local branch of a larger organization so you can see your hard-earned donations at work in your community. There’s also the added bonus of getting good PR for your business from local, current and prospective customers.

It’s important to choose a partner and a cause that you as a business truly care about, as being genuine is a vital aspect of the success of charity campaigns. Putting less than 100% of effort into the campaign can hinder its success due to people sensing . To ensure your success, garner excitement and communicate enthusiasm.

Expanding Your Reach

Once you get the ball rolling and have created a campaign with a great message, encourage other businesses and friends around town to share what you’re doing in an effort to gather more followers to your cause. This can be done on social media, through guerilla marketing, whatever strategy you decide is best. People sharing their personal experiences with your cause can be a powerful tool in garnering support. The more people that participate, the wider the reach—it’s a domino effect.

Generosity in marketing is huge at the moment, especially as corporate responsibility becomes a part of business expectations. That being said, your campaign needs to do more than simply ask for donations. Utilizing storytelling to create a narrative for your audience can break the monotony of poor marketing. This means using compelling imagery and smart writing to create emotion.

Every campaign will and should look different, that’s the beauty of marketing. Finding different ways to communicate a message, especially one that you care about, is a good exercise in building your business’s brand. If you need a place for some inspiration, here are some great charitable campaigns.