As companies become more transparent and as customers are closer to the business than ever before, philanthropy as a business function can help in building a successful org.
As soon as you recognize that your business forms a part of wider society, you begin to see that the opportunities are endless.
We all prefer to do business with nice people. Therefore, by doing nice things for others, your own popularity and success will increase.
Read any large company’s annual report and it will talk about ‘corporate social responsibility’. Read further and you’ll discover how this means they’ve been ‘doing good’, usually because it enhances their image. Increasingly, people running small businesses are discovering that social impact can deliver tangible returns. Here are ten ways to market your business by ‘doing good’.
- Mentor – A great way to give to the community is by mentoring others. By mentoring future business leaders, you not only earn a lot of respect but also mentees can work like evangelists for your business. If you want to learn the benefits of becoming a mentor, check our post here. And if you want to know how to become a good mentor, read our post here.
- Give away products – Whether you’re building a consumer product or an intangible product like software, give away a redundant product to someone who would not normally be able to buy or use it. You can also try to press coverage for your charity.
- Share knowledge – By sharing knowledge with others you gain respect for yourself and your business. Take advantage of guest speaking opportunities as well as opportunities to share your experience and advice with people starting a business from a disadvantaged background.
- Offer work experience – It’s not just the youth that needs work experience but there are people who are rebuilding their confidence from a setback and need reintroducing to the world of work. Providing work experience shows that you care. And, people prefer to trade with people who care.
- Sponsor people – A way to sponsor people are for instance funding your local sports team’s shirts and printing your company’s/brand name on the back. This way you are sponsoring sports as well as getting local publicity.
- Host visits – Allow others to see how you run your organization. The visit will inevitably be promoted to a wide audience and many who come might be potential customers. You can also host students to show them how the company works.
- Raise money – If you employ people, get them to agree on a local good cause and help them to raise funds as a team. There are a lot of things you can do as there are many causes you can support. This activity can not only help the cause but also motivate your team.
- Teach kids – Explaining what you do to a group of 12-year-olds is both a great and challenging experience. It will certainly make you think because kids ask a lot of questions and demand credible answers. It’s good to have your basic assumptions challenged.
- Share Scrap – You can donate things like unused stationery to poor kids in schools. If you make things, your waste materials or packaging items could be useful to a social enterprise that reuses materials.
- Offer free consultation – What does your business stand for? What industry does your business operate in? Based on the industry you represent you can offer free consulting or educational courses to people who need such services. For example, if you offer business services, you can offer free advice sessions for startup businesses. Your free clients might bring you new paid clients in the future.
As people running businesses, we succeed by helping others succeed. So if we help certain sections of our society, we not only gain good karma but indirectly create positive branding for our business.
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