Businesses searching for a way to differentiate themselves from their competition, boost employee engagement, and grow their bottom line—should consider a corporate giving initiative. In fact, according to a study conducted last year from Cone Communications found that 82 percent of US consumers keep a corporations’ social responsibility in mind when deciding which products or services to buy and where to shop.
With that said, maybe it’s time you take a closer look at your company’s charitable contributions within the last year. Chances are you could be doing more. If that’s the case, review some of the corporate giving best practices below to increase local visibility and improve employee moral.
Employee volunteer programs can help people connect emotionally with their business due to the collective commitment to a cause larger than day-to-day monotony. Working side-by-side with coworkers out of the office helps employees bond with the company and their colleagues. Many companies have started a policy that doesn’t force workers to take a day off to volunteer during the week. This practice has been shown to help retain workers by letting them volunteer without having to sacrifice PTO. If your particular charity work falls on a weekend, make sure it’s voluntary.
Sponsoring local events is one of the best ways to boost local visibility and relationships. Instead of marketing solely through advertising, reserve a portion of that budget to make a difference in the community while still achieving your company’s marketing goals. Try to align with an organization or cause that fits with your company’s mission statement and target audience. For example, if your audience is primarily middle-aged women, sponsoring a breast cancer run would be a good idea.
Companies that don’t have the luxury of leaving the office for a charitable event or volunteering can still give back to the community. Some businesses take periodic office collections to donate to a local cause. While not nearly as effective at boosting morale as hands-on volunteers, it does provide local marketing and networking opportunities for your company.
Let Your Customers Know What You’re Doing
Don’t give back in a vacuum—advertise your community involvement and donations. The messaging should be subtle while readily available for current and potential clients—don’t make a client dig around for it, but be cautious of “tooting your own horn” too much.