Build your brand by paying it forward

Brand building, paying it forward
Jan 9 2015

Professionals in all industries are constantly receiving solicitations for donations. The issue that most face is, as prevalent as they are, it is difficult to choose which one is the most effective and how much of your budget you can actually allocate to your chosen charity(s). The majority of these letters and inquiries are tossed out, and businesses will revisit the idea only when they are forced to.

In other cases, companies that are actively involved with charities have chosen causes that are near and dear to their hearts. They tend to make these donations a part of their annual budgets, where they remain for years (out of sight, out of mind). While these are socially responsible donations, are they truly enhancing your brand image or easing your conscience for that matter?

It should not solely be about your image. This might leave a sour taste, and may be seen as what some call “goodwashing”. It’s more important to focus on what’s right for your business. The idea is to support worthy causes, boost office morale and position your company as a constructive member of the community.

In my opinion, it is as impactful to donate your time and effort as it is to simply donate surplus funds. Some would argue that they don’t have the bandwidth to donate the time. I would say that they probably don’t have time to eat either. Although time is money at the end of the day, your helping hand will touch the hearts of those who are ultimately affected by the non-profit organizations.

Take an hour out of your day or a few hours out of your weekend and help. As a business owner, push your team to volunteer or offer to pay them regularly to work for a non-profit. Playing the Tooth Fairy is not always the solution, though it certainly helps maintain the charity’s operations. Without money, there would be no organization. But by donating marketing effort, building a media presence, or becoming one of the fund-raisers, you are, in essence, building your own brand.

Tag, you’re it. Time to pay it forward.

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