Supporting a charity is a wonderful thing to do, both for helping those in need and creating a positive public perception about your business. But with so many worthwhile charities for your business to support, how are business owners supposed to know which ones, and how many, to get behind?
To put things in perspective, this type of cause marketing is expected to reach upwards of $2 billion in 2016, an increase of roughly 3.7% from 2015. A recent study also confirmed that upwards of 90% of consumers would switch to a brand that supports a cause, assuming most other factors in the product and service were the same.
That’s why we’re providing you with tips on how to choose a charity to support. If you really want to get involved with a charity, but are unsure exactly how, you’ll be headed in the right direction from the very start.
How to Choose the Right Charity
When choosing a charity or organization for your business to support, optimally, you’ll want to select something that is in alignment and relevant to your current business or industry. While this isn’t exactly necessary, you can see how a healthcare company choosing to support healthy eating or a bank supporting financial literacy would make sense.
With that being said, there are a number of ways a business can identify and choose the right charity, and here are just a few ideas and best practices:
- Think Locally - Businesses can often benefit more from supporting a local charity than a national one. Your local customer base will surely appreciate you thinking of their community first, and ultimately, it will help expose your business to new local consumers and increase brand awareness.
- Ask Your Team - It’s always a possibility that someone on your team already strongly supports a charity or even has a loved one that could benefit directly from the help of your support. Another great strategy is to have your team vote on which charities they would like the company to support. It will help raise morale and show employees that you value their opinion.
- What Makes Sense for Your Business - Always consider, from a marketing and branding standpoint, what kind of charity would make most sense for your business to support. Again, what causes are highly relevant to both your industry and customer base in general? Also make sure that when you do select a charity, develop the relationship at a very deep level. Strong ties with the charity will only serve to enhance the impact that your contribution has in the community.
How Many Charities Should You Support?
Deciding exactly how many charities you should support may or may not be an exact science. Generally you’ll want to support as many charities as you can without causing significant harm, sacrificing quality, or spreading resources too thin as it relates to core business operations. For example one mid-Missouri business, ServiceMaster of Columbia, does support a variety of charities but with a main focus on the Honor Flight organization for local veterans. This is one approach you may want to consider when deciding how many charities your business should support.
One charity is always enough, especially at the beginning of your cause marketing journey. Again, spreading your business too thin can harm your brand reputation and will more than likely sacrifice the time and effort you can put in supporting each cause, so you’ll want to be careful to ramp up appropriately.
Find out what makes the most sense for your business in terms of size of your team and what you are able to contribute. Based on these factors, supporting only one charity might make the most sense for your business, and that is perfectly fine.
By now you should be well-equipped to begin thinking seriously about charities for your business to support, as well as how many your business can handle without sacrificing quality and support.
What are some of the best local charities in your community? Do you support any causes either personally or professionally? Let us and everyone else know in the comments!