Monetize Your Business Through Philanthropy

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[insert your business logo here]

Alright, alright… don’t get your panties in a wad. I know that philanthropy is about helping those in need or greening up the planet one tree at a time. I’m all on board with that. My philanthropic spirit is pretty darn shiny, if I do say so myself.

But, come on, what entrepreneur doesn’t like a little help in the marketing department? Pure intentions are a requirement, sure, but there’s something to be said for leading the way with a just cause.

Case in Point
Take one of Springfield’s philanthropic heroes as an example. Aaron Sachs, a local attorney, has his law firm attached to twelve local charities. And it’s no surprise, since his firm’s primary areas of practice are linked to personal injury cases, that he’s created a Safety Helmet Program and helped coordinate Teen Driver Assemblies to raise safety awareness.

How do I know about his community involvement, you ask? Because it’s all over the airwaves. Aaron Sachs and Associates are “pleased to support live closed captioning” for the hearing impaired viewers on our local TV stations, for starters. And the truth is, I’d rather he advertise about his philanthropic efforts at every commercial break than how his medical degree means he understands personal injury better than the rest (you Springfieldians know who I mean).

Yes, said medical-doctor-turned-lawyer is involved in the community (and the list is quite extensive), but that’s not what he advertises about. Not that I have anything against him as a person or an attorney by any means, but his advertising approach, when compared to Sachs, really does make a difference.

Examine the Numbers
An attorney is an attorney, right? They both do the same things. They’re both successful. So, really, what is the difference? At any rate, how would any two businesses in the same industry — same prices and reliable services — distinguish themselves from each other? It’s a win whichever you choose, isn’t it?

Not according to the in-depth Cone Cause Evolution Study conducted by Cone, Inc. How about these stats for you to chew on:

  • 41% of Americans surveyed had purchased a product in the past year specifically because it was associated with an environmental or social cause
  • A whopping 85% of respondents had a more positive image of a company (brand) that supported a cause they believed in
  • And here’s the kicker — 80% of respondents noted that, when the price and quality are similar, they would likely switch brands in favor of one that supports philanthropic causes

Hello! Are you hearing me, yet?

Is This Thing On?
So, again, the motivation behind your philanthropic involvement must be primarily, of course, to help others. Because, you know what, people will see right through you if you’re doing it just to gain publicity and get more dough.

That being said, you should still let the world know what your company is involved in. In fact, telling the public what you’re doing may actually motivate others to get involved, too. Wouldn’t that be super!

And if you don’t have the extra funds to dedicate to a just cause, use manpower. Gather up your staff for an afternoon and stuff backpacks for families that can’t afford school supplies. Volunteer your management team to help plan the next charity 5K in your community. Whatever you get involved with, make sure it’s truly something you believe in. Because that will show. And, gosh darn it, compassion for those in need never lead to a negative outcome.

(originally posted on Ink’d Content)

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