Strategic Philanthropy: How To use Good Deeds As A Business Development Toool
April 2008A Citrus White Paper: Strategic Philanthropy.Actual recession or not, many marketers are considering lowering their annual investment inphilanthropic donations. Because of this, Citrus believes that this is precisely the time to consider why,how and where you donate based on adopting the principles of Strategic Philanthropy. Here is adefinition: Strategic Philanthropy, also known as Cause Marketing, is a business strategy whereby a company clearly aligns its mission and business goals with a nonprofit organization to create a strategically tailored and mutually beneficial partnership. A well-designed program balances the positive impact on the community with a clear understanding of the positive impact a giving program will have for the company, its brand, customers and, importantly, employee recruitment and retention.Strategic Philanthropy isn’t about disguising self-serving activities under a veil of good intentions oradopting a cause simply to sell more products. It is about sincerely showing your customers andemployees that you really care about your community and important causes. It is about having yourorganization receive measurable benefits that will make you want to donate even more next year. Thisis a win-win marketing program for your company, your employees and nonprofit partners.Why participate with nonprofits?Effective strategic alliances will enhance your brand equity and image, increase stakeholder andemployee loyalty and lead to increased revenue and sales for the parties involved.It is not difficult to leverage your charitable activities to enhance your corporate image. Here are somethoughts to get you started. Think small. Consider working with local charities that can demonstrate in-market impact from your donations. Create alignment. Align your products, services and areas of expertise with an organization that complements your company’s mission and business. Lead by example. Set up a charitable program with clear community benefits to demonstrate to your employees that your company doesn’t exist simply to make money. Involve your employees. Build a program that gives your employees a sense of ownership and a direct, visible connection to the good you are doing. Working with local charities will allow your employees to participate on a personal level. Spread the word. Most nonprofits have limited funds for advertising and public relations. Leverage your giving to promote your charitable programs and to help create awareness for your nonprofit partners. Pitch positive community-interest stories to the local press, have a charitable giving section for your website and let your customers know what you are doing.
Think bottom line. If you and other businesses see a tangible benefit from giving, you and they will give more. This may be the most compelling point of all.Facts to support the concept of Strategic Philanthropy:According to the 2007 Cone Cause Evolution Survey, a national survey on the attitudes of Americansabout corporate giving, there are many benefits to be accrued from Strategic Philanthropy: 87% of respondents said “I am very/somewhat likely to switch from one brand to another that is about the same in price and quality if the other brand is associated with a cause.” 85% of respondents said “A company’s commitment to a social issue is important when deciding which companies they want to see doing business in their community.” 88% of respondents said “I want companies to talk about their cause and corporate social responsibility efforts.” 77% of respondents said “A company’s commitment to a social issue is important when I decide where to work”Citrus employs Strategic PhilanthropyCitrus is closely aligned with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Oregon. We donate our services inproducing marketing strategies, branding, collateral materials and Internet marketing. We mention ourMake-A-Wish association and show our work when we pitch new business. Our CEO is on the board.Importantly, our account management team, designers and copywriters view working on Make-A-Wishas one of the most rewarding things that they do at Citrus. Granting wishes is very important to us.Everyone at Citrus benefits from our association.If you are interested in learning more about Strategic Philanthropy and how it can help grow yourbusiness please give me a call at 541.550.4220. Our only goal is to help you to better understand howStrategic Philanthropy can help our local charities. Citrus – Bend & Portland – www.citrusbegin.com 2