Corporate giving is a powerful way to promote your company’s values. By aligning with meaningful causes, you can gain your customers’ attention, respect, and loyalty. Cause marketing, sometimes referred to as cause-related marketing, is the collaborative marketing efforts of a for-profit business or product to benefit a nonprofit charity or a social cause.
Cause marketing is a mutually beneficial partnership as it creates goodwill for your company, demonstrates your values, and brings attention to the cause and work of the nonprofit. It’s important to approach these charitable campaigns carefully, keeping the focus on the cause and letting your business take a supporting role. There are numerous strategies for your corporate giving campaigns, let’s dive into some.
Event hosting, sponsorship, or participation
Community events are a powerful way to show your support for a worthy cause. If you have the funding, consider hosting or sponsoring an event. The Avon 39 Walk to End Breast Cancer is a good example of this type of cause marketing in action. Avon hosts the annual 39-mile walk, which has raised over $800 million for breast cancer crusades since 1992. The company enjoys widespread association with the cause both through its hosting and its line of breast cancer awareness products.
Reebok participates in this event as a sponsor. The athletic apparel company features a line of Reebok Pink Ribbon footwear and apparel to benefit the crusade. These products give consumers the opportunity to show off their support for the cause, while also giving the company valuable visibility as a supporter. While a shoe company is a natural fit for a charity walk, the connection doesn’t have to be this obvious. Another sponsor, Tomboy Tools, supports the Avon 29 Walk by selling pink tools and hosting a “Tool School 101” class for Avon Walk participants.
If your current funds aren’t adequate to host or sponsor a charitable event, you can also engage in cause marketing and community outreach simply by having your employees participate as a team. Create matching team shirts with your logo and company name, and you can gain visibility as your employees walk or run in these types of charitable events.
“Buy one, give one” campaigns
“Buy One, Give One” campaigns are an effective way for companies to work together with shoppers in support of a good cause. TOMS shoes is a shining example of the success that this type of campaign can have. For every pair of TOMS shoes that is purchased, a pair is donated to a child in need. Warby Parker features a similar model with glasses and has given over 4 million pairs of glasses to those in need through their Buy a Pair, Give a Pair program.
Point of sale donations
If you operate a brick and mortar store, Point Of Sale donations are an effective way to raise awareness of your business’s participation with a charitable cause. Your company can make a baseline donation as part of your corporate giving, while supplementing this with donations solicited from shoppers. Have employees wear a shirt, hat, or lanyard championing the cause, and place signs around the register. Cashiers can then give customers the opportunity to add a small donation to their total purchase.
You may also opt to provide shoppers with special perks for making a donation. Walmart and Sam’s Club give customers a Miracle Balloon that they can place on the wall with their name or the name of a loved one when they donate to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. You might also hand out coupon books as a thank you for those who donate. This type of campaign ensures that every shopper is aware of your connection with a meaningful cause.
Portion of purchase donations
When you feature Portion of Purchase donations, your company publicizes that they will give a portion of every purchase to a charitable cause during a particular campaign. Using this model, the Starbucks (RED) campaign has raised over $14 million for the Global Fund to support HIV/AIDS prevention, education, and treatment. Its signature red cups let buyers know when the campaign is running, so the company’s corporate giving is well publicized in a simple manner.
With these smart strategies, you can make customers aware of your corporate giving without seeming too self-congratulatory about your company’s donations. Allow your customers to participate and join you in your efforts to provide meaningful support to causes that matter.