I firmly believe that every company should be supporting nonprofits via monetary donations or getting their employees to volunteer their time on a local project (e.g. repairing a house). It shows that your company cares about your customers believe in and builds employee morale. Personally, if I were choosing a company to work for or buying a product from one, I would choose the one that has a defined and active community giving program. One of the most popular programs is the Red program from one.org (started by Bono, lead singer of U2). Apple, Gap, American Express, and Nike have all incorporated red products and donated a portion of the proceeds to eliminating AIDS in Africa.
To start a cause marketing program at your company I suggest the following five tips:
- Decide on what categories of nonprofits your company wants to support. Take a survey of all your employees and if possible your customers.
- Create an employee foundation. Find volunteers within the company that can manage the grant decision making process and volunteer opportunities.
- Get a 3rd party to manage the funds donated to your foundation and make it a 501c3 foundation.
- Involve the executives at your company in getting fellow co-workers to volunteer. #1 tip for building company culture – if management don’t do it, your employees will less likely be involved.
- Involve your customers as much as possible. If you are having a volunteer event ask your customers to come. If you are raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as a company, ask your customers to donate as well cause you never know if they have a connection to the cause.
Here is a video interview by myself of Meredith at the Republic of Tea who discusses their updated Sip for a Cure product line where they donate a portion of their profits to the Susan G. Komen for a Cure foundation.
Let me know what causes your company believes in. Post it in the comments below.
rksar at yahoo dot com