Affirmation by association is a business tool that too few companies take full advantage of. Being known as a company that supports a cause or group that people appreciate is often worth much more than the actual financial investment.
Businesses can build a strong network by aligning nonprofits. Not only are you out in the community doing “good deeds,” but you also meet people who you may not be able to connect with otherwise. These relationships could open you up to new investment opportunities, sources of capital, and other business opportunities. Sure, you’re doing good because it’s the right thing to do, but there’s nothing wrong – and a lot right – with getting something in return for your time, effort and investment.
And it’s not like this is a secret. Most charitable organizations understand your secondary reasons. They appreciate the support, and they are generally more than happy that both of you are benefitting.
So, which charity should you choose? For many, this question answers itself. You might have a personal reason to get involved with a cause. For instance, a family member with a medical condition or a loved one with a disability. Or, you might have benefitted from a specific service yourself, and you want to give back.
If none of these things apply to you, or if you want to spread the wealth, consider donating to a nonprofit that caters to your target market. For example, a lot of local burger joints will sponsor school fundraisers, sell wares out at little league parks or let the Scouts come sell cookies or popcorn outside on the sidewalk. This is smart because it allows those owners to directly connect with a lot of parents who will then think of them when the kids want burgers and fries and mom or dad just doesn’t feel like cooking.
Some radiology groups or doctors’ offices send teams out to walk for cancer cures or Alzheimer’s research. They, too, are working to benefit groups that are within their target market. People know they work to help find a cure in their day jobs, and they appreciate that they’re taking their free time to help out.
So, what are you waiting for? Get out there, become a title sponsor, get your name on a t-shirt or a banner. Connect your brand with a group that is doing some good and help get your name out there. Put down some roots in the community by connecting with it on a new and exciting level. Not only will you help a worthy cause, you will also give people more reasons to appreciate you as a community partner.