Sunday, April 27, 2008

For the Love of Lipstick

This recent TimesOnline article tells a great story about how one company has managed to turn women’s love of lipstick into a multi-million pound charity fundraiser that is helping hundreds of HIV projects around the world.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cause Related Marketing: What Customers Love

Okay, I am caving in a bit. I have not been a particular fan of cause related marketing (crm) for several reasons. The biggest one is that it has the perception of being a philanthropy program, but from a purest point of view it's not. It has a shelf life and depending on the extent to which a business owner wants to work with a specific charity, it requires some legal stuff.

However, after reading a lot of studies and latest trends, crm works and customers love it. It can be just one way your business giving back. Get the scoop on cause related marketing here.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Building Relationships with Charities through Your Business's Giving Program

I was just interviewed yesterday by a reporter for an upcoming article in a small business magazine. I will let you know when that runs. One of the questions I often get is, how does a business go about selecting charitable organizations to support. In all honesty, this is a very important aspect in developing your giving program, but it's the one area that gets the least attention.

Before identifying and selecting organizations, I take the business through an assessment. This process gets you clear about what is important to your business, and what your business stand for. Often the lines can get grey between your interests and your business interests, but the distinction is important for your brand, long term impact, and building relationships with charities.

You may get at first glance the importance for your brand and impact, but you may not have thought about the importance of building relationships with charities you support. Well, here's why it is important and what you need to know.

First, strategy. It's all about strategy. If you follow my writings and teachings you know that strategy is critical to impact. This is why you want to carefully identify and select those organizations which you can support with a quiver. Next, your giving back is not always all about you and your business. It's also about the charity. Understand that nonprofits create, develop and cultivate their donors. This doesn't mean just individuals or family donors. It also includes business, corporate and foundation supporters. So, as a business, the charity truly wants to keep you in their loop, on their radar, and in their giving circle. This is how they continue to raise dollars and build their capacity. In a competitive nonprofit marketplace today, they want to build a relationship with you so that your support begins to mean more than just the contributions you give. It’s about the possibilities that the relationship can offer mutual benefits for the donor and charity.

As the relationship grows and becomes sustainable over time, you as a business owner can become a major benefactor to the organization. Often, the nonprofit can engage and recognize your support and communicate what that has meant to the community.

One time donations, unless really large, do not create impact nor always build relationships. And these two elements are critical to the success of your giving program.

© 2008. Maggie F. Keenan, Ed.D. All rights reserved.