Most products or services can be purchased from multiple vendors across most geographic barriers. How can you differentiate yourself from the competition? One way may be giving money to charitable causes. Big businesses have been practicing philanthropy for a long time. A survey of large corporations by CECP found that 59 percent of them increased their philanthropy between 2007 and 2012. More companies are realizing that spending money on doing good is really good for business and the bottom line.
Doing Good Is Good for Business
Last month at the small-business conference Sage Summit in Las Vegas, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone gave a keynote presentation. (Because of his success, when Biz talks, small-business owners listen.) He discussed how the future of marketing is philanthropy, and that people are attracted to meaning these days. Stone suggests that when customers have a choice, they will more likely buy from companies that are philanthropic; and that successful companies are giving money to charitable organizations and then using their marketing funds to tell customers about their association with that cause. Companies find that their giving can go a long way by attracting free mentions on blogs and social media posts.
Employees Like Doing Good
Employees who are deciding which company to work for face a similar choice. Do they believe in the mission and values of the company? Employees want to be volunteering for good causes as part of their jobs. According to a LBG Associates survey, 71 percent of employees who participated in an employee volunteer program said that they felt more positive about their company as a result.
The study shows that if a company gives employees the opportunity to volunteer for a cause they support, they have a renewed appreciation for the importance of their jobs. This can be incredibly valuable for the employee and profitable for the company. For example, Where2GetIt, an Anaheim, California-based digital marketing company, encourages employees to volunteer by giving them paid time off to participate in company-sponsored charity projects. The company also started a foundation called ATMA to help homeless children.
Choose Your Cause Wisely
When choosing the cause you want to support, be careful: The type of cause reflects on that company and will attract a certain type of customer. You might want to stay away from politically charged causes since they will both attract and repel a variety of consumers. Instead, focus on universally good organizations like food for the hungry, literacy, and shelter for the homeless.
How is your company using philanthropy as marketing?
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