Stretching your holiday cheer with year-round engagement

Friday, December 08, 2017, Vol. 41, No. 49

We often give a little more back to our communities during the holiday season by supporting toy drives, food banks or even devoting a day to volunteering with our co-workers.

These are great “feel good” moments and make for heartwarming social media posts, but have you thought about how a committed, long-term partnership with a nonprofit can be beneficial to your business?

Giving back is always the morally right thing to do, but there are business benefits to be gained by extending your philanthropic efforts beyond the giving season with a strategic nonprofit partnership.

1. Increase employee engagement, morale and retention. Encourage your motivated employees to grow their leadership skills by serving on your nonprofit partner’s board.

The experience they gain is priceless, and opportunities for service can be wonderful recruiting tools.

In a national survey, Fortune magazine found that people between the ages of 35 and 44 were almost 60 percent more likely to want to work for a company that gives back to charity.

This number was even higher with people between ages 18 and 34.

2. Increase your brand credibility. National brands are seeing big boosts by engaging citizens with campaigns that make meaningful change throughout the world.

Fortune’s data also found that young consumers are more likely to recommend products from charitable companies.

Be sure to choose a cause that aligns with your brand’s values and be creative with your promotions.

Even though Macy’s isn’t necessarily aligned with health causes, its brand benefits by demonstrating a shared concern with its consumers through support of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign.

Selling lots of red dresses during the promotion is also a nice bonus.

3. Increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your giving. When you enter into a long-term partnership with a nonprofit, you create the same kinds of efficiencies you have with your trusted, long-term vendors.

You can work together to set priorities for giving, and with the kind of trust that develops over time, you can apply your business savvy to help nonprofits with their needs.

Often, nonprofits struggle quantifying with data the good they do, especially organizations tackling the most serious issues in our communities.

Yet, many donors require this type of reporting before they will make financial contributions.

As an expert in determining ROI for your business, you can help your nonprofit partner identify meaningful data to collect through relevant assessments. Your investment of business expertise will help your nonprofit partner seek additional funds, multiplying the community impact you will have as a team.

Bottom line: Any nonprofit organization will tell you corporate philanthropy is vital in carrying out their mission.

While they will always need your financial contributions, they also need your unique expertise.

By creating a long-term partnership, you can establish a strategy for your giving that not only provides important brand PR and employee engagement opportunities but also makes our world a better place.

Leslie Graff, marketing strategist at RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy, can be reached at redrovercompany.com.