CHARITY MARKETING EXPLAINED

Charity Marketing is defined a marketing method that couples the efforts of both a non-profit and  a for profit business for mutual benefit.  This method can be implemented by organizations of any size anywhere in the world. Work can be done at the local, regional and global level. Both community and online methods can be implemented.  The term is used broadly to refer to any event or promotion that benefits any social or charitable cause.  Charity marketing is not merely charitable giving because it involves a cooperative marketing relationship that aims to benefit all organizations involved.  Charitable marketing is of great interest to companies of all sized because they can bring about much of their work with volunteer assistance and donated items.  This type of marketing has a tendency to be much more cost effective than traditional marketing efforts.

Charity marketing is viewed by the general public more favorable than paid advertising. All things being equal consumers will be loyal to the brand that gives back to a community or cause they can identify with. This is a great way to build both customer and employee loyalty to your brand.

Both new and established businesses can use charity marketing as a springboard to build their brand and establish themselves as community partners in their local markets. Savvy business people have used this method to get much needed cost-effective public relations and media coverage for the grand opening and new product launches. Working with a non-profit that is familiar with these techniques and is open to implementing them is highly advantages for introducing it into your traditional marketing mix. Make sure that the non-profit you choose to work with has previous experience in charity marketing and they are open to working with your marketing efforts to help bring about a mutually beneficial relationship.

When small companies get involved with charity marketing it is usually referred to as community involvement but when large companies refer to this as CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) or community relations. The desired results of charity marketing include an improved ability to build a database of qualified prospective customers, word of mouth promotion, increased visibility in the community, and capturing a greater percentage of the market that will result in more revenue for the business.

When establishing a budget for these campaigns several determinations must be calculated. Who is your target market and how can you develop a charity marketing method that will help you reach your target market more efficiently and effectively? What is the monetary value of a new customer and how much are you willing to invest per every new customer? What are the primary benefits you seek from your charity marketing promotion? Once you have these ideas in mind seek a non-profit that is willing to work with your organization to develop a strong marketing relationship that will be of mutual benefit.

Charity marketing is both a great way to develop a powerful network and help others in the process. It is viewed favorable by the general public because after all not only does the customer get a good feeling it also benefits society in general. People like to associate themselves with business that give back and support causes that assist disadvantaged people in a meaningful way. 80% of American consumers viewed charity marketing as something they expect from establishments they patronize. Many consciences consumers refuse to purchase from businesses that do not have a strong history of giving back in some meaningful way.

Non-profits understand and appreciate the motivations of a business to want to add charity marketing to their traditional marketing mix for business development. In this highly competitive global market a strong marketing program must include charity marketing to be competitive. Many charities continue to benefit their communities only because they are highly adept at helping businesses received a return on their charitable investments.

TIPS FOR GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR ASSOCIATION WITH A CHARITY

Linking your brand with the non-profit  is a vital component of charitable marketing. Even if you’re involved in charity for purely altruistic reasons you should benefit from the relationship or your support to the cause may be very short lived. Gaining a return on the investment is a good and sound business decision and will allow you to be more generous to the cause in the long run. Their is nothing unethical about allowing your for profit to receive benefits from its involvement in charity marketing. The IRS encourages for profit business involvement with charity by giving them a tax deduction when they give to an authorized 501(c)3 not for profit corporation. The following are tips for gaining the most from your involvement in charity marketing.

1. Use press releases to gain free publicity that is more effective than just traditional paid advertisement. Work with your local media and make them your business partners to help you grow your business and gain an unfair advantage in your marketplace. YouTube videos, TV and radio spots can also be a very effective method to keep your brand top of mind with your target market.  

2.  Include your charity involvement in marketing materials like website, in store commercials, newsletters, blog, brochures, signs, and displays advertisements. Take full advantage of your affiliation with a cause your target audience supports. Many manufacturers put the logo of the charity they support directly on the product they produce itself.

3. If your support of the charity is significant ask for representatives to be present at your corporate events. Your keynote speaker can be a charity spokesperson that can help your brand be associated with positive feelings of helping the disadvantaged in a meaningful way.

4. Give away information at your place of business to communicate your involvement and support of a worthwhile cause. Your efforts to give back to others are of interest to both your customers and employees. They have a right to know that they are supporting an establishment that they can be proud to be associated with. Charity marketing is becoming an increasingly important part of consumers buying decision.

6. Ask your charity to publicly recognize your support of the cause. Third party endorsements are the best type of publicity. Depending on the size of the contribution, they can give present you with a certificate or award and mention your brand in their website and social media.

Written by: Jose Antonio Rodriguez