Back to School is here! This time of year also marks the season when charity organizations and local social programs begin their budgeting and program planning, and these programs cannot be successful without the help of donors and sponsors. As a business owner, you should get involved and get noticed! Bringing in and supporting positive programs to your community not only helps people in need, but it can help you to recognize the marketing opportunities as a generous, smart, and socially aware small business owner. By involving your business with a non-profit, you gain the notice of people who may be unaware of your presence in the marketplace. Some charities may be better equipped to work with sponsors and the media. Other programs are new, may have inexperienced staff and especially appreciate your business experience in helping them organize people and resources.
Some things to consider when planning your community relations:
• Research opportunities. There are so many worthy organizations that the difficult part is choosing where to spend your time and resources, so find programs that match or complement your business and personal beliefs.
• Set a budget. Decide up front how much you are able to allocate and consider this part of your annual marketing budget.
• Assess what resources you or our business can bring: Remember to include other members of your staff who can be involved with a skill set different from yours.
• Be creative. If you aren’t able to participate by offering sponsorship or donation, organizations are always looking for people to donate time.
• Spread the word. Some business owners feel shy about announcing their involvement. Don’t! Maybe your involvement will inspire someone else with resources to share and bring additional awareness to the charity itself. Use a press release to help get the word out. Send it to your local paper, radio and television stations, and submit it online. Your news may help a reporter complete a story giving you and the local charity publicity that money can’t buy.
Everyone likes to do business with a philanthropic company and if you’re sincere about community involvement, you might be surprised at how much your business will benefit and grow even faster. Get involved. Get Noticed!