I’ve worked in sales and marketing for a long time, and one thing that never fails to return tremendous value to a company is building connections in your community. Every business should get involved in cause marketing or charity work in their communities. The impact on the community as well as on your organization is beyond a simple calculation. And when I say get involved, I mean truly get involved – don’t just write a check to a cause of concern, although that is always needed, but actually get company members out of the office to help your local community.
It might mean participating in a charity run as a company. It might mean sponsoring and attending a gala for the local homeless shelter. It might mean spending the day at a local nonprofit with employees, donating your time together. Whichever way you decide to get involved, you will see results, in your community as well as your company. Charity work brings organizations and communities closer together. It reconnects us with the human aspects of our business, and with something much larger than ourselves.
You may decide to do charity work that aligns strategically with what your company does; for example, an apparel brand might opt to host a clothing drive for those in need, or a professional services firm might offer business leadership training to at-risk youth. You may also decide to choose something that’s simply a feel-good cause, or something of particular importance to your local community. It’s just a matter of what drives you and your organization.
Beyond the great work that cause marketing and charity projects do in the community, they also build connections with other executives and organizations that may be helpful down the line as you build your business. Cause marketing provides a good opportunity to meet fellow business leaders and develop mutually beneficial relationships.
I would strongly recommend that business owners look into these opportunities and take advantage of them. The nice thing about cause marketing is that it’s practical for businesses of any size, no matter how big or small. You can spend as much or as little time and/or money as you’re able; there is no minimum to the amount of help you can offer to your community. In fact, in my experience, any amount of help is deeply appreciated. The most important thing is that you and your employees are actively engaged and passionate about getting involved with the cause.