When we think of companies helping non-profit organizations, banks, national brands, radio stations, and newspapers top the short list. Their large marketing budgets and eye-catching advertising are great for their cause marketing efforts, but can intimidate us entrepreneurs and even discourage us from choosing a charity to try and make a difference. However, there are three things we have that non-profits would love for us to share with them: our time, talent, and treasure. Here are just six ways entrepreneurs can work with non-profits:
- Donate a portion of your revenue: take 3%, or 5% or whatever you can afford of gross revenues and donate to a church, school, cancer research, or some other charity with which you have a personal connection.
- Workshop Fundraiser: conduct a workshop in your area of expertise and donate the proceeds to charity.
- Event Fundraiser: conduct or sponsor a community event where one or several charities can benefit from the fundraiser. Events like this include Rib Fest, The Last Fling, and the upcoming Aurora (Paper Plane) Air Show.
- Time Volunteer: if you are a little low on treasure, every non-profit will be grateful if you could spend a few hours a month helping out. The church needs help at the picnic. The food pantry needs help stocking shelves. And the shelter always needs help serving dinner to the homeless.
- Talent Volunteer: spend some time at the Career Counseling Center and provide job seekers advice and coaching.
- Make “Cause Marketing” a part of your overall marketing mix.
Remember, even though the large corporations have those big budgets, we must not be intimidated. What we as entrepreneurs give in terms of time, talent, and treasure, no matter how much or how little, will make a difference in the lives of people less fortunate than us.
Luke 21:1-4: He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury; and he saw a poor widow put in two copper coins. And he said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all the living that she had.”
Even though you are now inspired to work with a non-profit, the challenge is developing ways to share your gifts. Choose an activity or two from the list above or give Judy Philip and Tom Duffey at Your Cause Marketing Edge a call. They can map out a plan for your firm to join the short list of businesses giving back. The key is to start today. Your actions will not only be a great experience for you and make you a difference-maker, but they will also be a great benefit to the charity you choose.