Jennifer Abshire: Maximize Your Philanthropic Dollars through Strategic Giving
Philanthropic giving is an increasingly important aspect of any business model. Consumers research and choose to do business with companies that support causes they believe in. Like any success you find in business, successful philanthropic giving requires strategic planning.
Because philanthropy plays such a large role in our new economy, it is important to let your customers and employees know about the causes you support. But be careful how you tell your story. You do not want to make the mistake of sounding like you are congratulating yourself or spend more money advertising the fact that you gave to a charity than the actual donation was worth.
Depending on the amount of the contribution, the charitable organization may offer to use your company logo in flyers, social media posts or in the program for an event. They may even thank you by name during the event or in press releases about the event.
Alternately, your company might start a campaign that directly involves customers by contributing a portion of your sales to a cause during a certain time period or creating a cause-specific product and donating those proceeds to a specified charity. In those cases, you can avoid the self-congratulatory stigma by instead thanking your customers for their help supporting the cause.
Whatever charity you decide to support you can maximize your benefits through careful, strategic marketing. For the best results, choose an organization that you honestly admire and support. Today’s consumers reward authenticity. It also helps you keep younger employees.
Millennials, those born between 1980-2000, are more philanthropically minded than their predecessors even given the restrictions of lower incomes and higher student loan debt. As a generation, 84 percent of Millennials give to charity compared to 59 percent of Generation X and 72 percent of Baby Boomers.
Not only do Millennials give, but they expect the brands they support to give as well. According to the report, Millennials: The Next Generation of Consumers, 85 percent of Millennials correlate their purchasing decisions and their willingness to recommend a brand to the social good efforts a company is making.
Haven’t developed a philanthropic strategic plan for 2020 yet and want more information on how to do it right? Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Smart planning and authentic engagement bring the best result for your business and your community.