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Corporate Philanthropy from a Marketer’s Prospective

While charitable giving happens throughout the entire year, the holiday season certainly gives a push of participation, so I thought it’d be a great chance to talk about corporate philanthropy.

Many times, these engagements begin as a result of a personal affliction from within or near your organization. Or perhaps it is just a cause that your group holds a collective passion for that gets the attention. No matter how your company got involved, you want to make sure that the group and your company are making the most of the time spent.

When it comes to anything marketing, it’s generally a coordination of external impact, your level of commitment, internal execution, and external awareness. That said, charity is no different than any other campaign you might run. The following key points will be helpful whether your company is already entrenched with a charitable organization or you’re looking to align with a group to help. Looking for ways to improve your impact can help elevate the community.

Picking the right cause

If your company doesn’t already participate with a charity, you have a unique opportunity to align your efforts. Start first by asking which charities assist less fortunate individuals with services similar to service or product? In most instances, this exercise along should help start to identify a direction and begin to narrow your search. Next, I like to try to match territories. I do this to ensure that everyone, companywide, feels like they have the opportunity to participate. Lastly, how does this narrowed list of charities want you to participate? What are there minimum engagement requirements of time, resources, or monetary involvement?

Once you have this briefly outlined, move to the commitment assessment.

Corporate Commitment

Based on your review of available charities, you may start to see a general expectation of participation coming together. Even still, it is up to the company to determine and define their rules of engagement. As an organization, you may feel more comfortable donating time vs. money, or perhaps services provide a stronger impact. Whatever makes the most sense for your group, I’d think by this stage, you’ve got only a few choices to pick. 

Now it’s time to select the charitable organization that makes the most sense.

Selecting the right organization

Can we agree that the overall success will be directly correlated to the participation and contribution of the group? If we believe this to be true, then now would be a GREAT time to include your organization in the selection process. There are numerous ways that you can accomplish this, but make it fun and informative.

Depending on how formal you’d like to be about the process, select the method that your group will best receive. Perhaps you want to deliver this in a presentation style engagement during an “All Hands Call,” or possibly your team would participate better with an anonymous survey. Whichever is the best method, make sure it discloses the essential bits regarding the engagement. Your information should include:

  • Who the charity helps
  • How or why this aligns with your company
  • What impact your organization can have on the charity by participating
  • Finally, how the company will be expected to participate

Put it to a vote and let the people decide. After all, this is the collective effort of the community that will bring the highest levels of success.

Celebrating your contribution

As a company matures, it becomes increasingly more important to get involved in supporting initiatives outside your regular business practices. While this is by no means a requirement for any company, it does help elevate a brand by showing an awareness of social responsibility. It humanizes your brand and gives it life.

As unemployment continues to decrease, these may be the tipping points that sway a job seeker from one offer to another. Job seekers who have a passion for your role may find the intrinsic motivators that align with their personal beliefs to be more critical than the extrinsic motivators offered by your competition.

As you participate, capture the moments and celebrate the milestones and successes with the world. Great for social, perhaps a blog post, or even PR if you currently exercise that outlet. It’s a win-win to bring awareness to the charity that your group loves so much.

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