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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Looking for a way to build your brand, do good, and have fun in the process? You can accomplish all those goals by giving to the community you serve.

After all, you don’t want your company to be known as the business that takes and takes, but doesn’t give back anything in return... right?

In this article, let's look at the benefits YOUR BUSINESS can gain by contributing to charitable causes. You may be surprised at the effect your giving can have on the business you receive.
Take a few minutes to consider this seemingly contrarian tactic: Give in order to get.

Contributiong to Charity is Good Marketing 

People want to do business with organizations that serve the members of their community. They want to know you genuinely care about people. They want to know there is common ground between you and them.
By the way... "community" can mean a local or regional area -- but it doesn't have to. A community is a group of people with a common concern or interest.
Fishermen are a community. Dallas Cowboys fans are a community. Take a minute to think about the communities that apply to your customers or clients. Those are the communities where your business wants to be active

Here are some of the marketing benefits you can gain from giving to others:

- Giving generates awareness about your brand within a targeted community
- Giving positions you as a helper, not a taker
- Giving can generate mentions in press releases and news stories
- Giving can get others to promote you online
- Giving can cause other sites to link back to you (SEO value)

Contributing Feels Good: It Raises Your Self Esteem Many non-profit organizations are doing amazing things, but they lack enough funds to scale and make a bigger impact. With help from donors (like you), these organizations can secure the funds needed to build better programs and reach more people.

Do you know sports fans who identify so much with their favorite teams that they are down when their team loses and elated when they win? And you know what they say" WE WON!
They are so identified with the work of others that they vicariously feel as if they were actually participating.

It can be the same way with giving to charitable causes. Their good work can become your good work. When they feed a hungry child, save a whale, or clean up a trashed stream... you have participated.

That not only FEELS GOOD, but it can provide HUGE benefits to your health.

- Giving helps others do great things
- Giving enables you to take part in those efforts
- Giving can cause you to feel better emotionally and physcially
- Giving is an act you can take that you KNOW is important and valuable
- Giving enables you to access a spiritual principle: you reap what you sow 

Contributing Helps With Employee Motivation 

Getting involved in charitable causes allows your employees to get involved in activities that improve their well being, give them a sense of contribution, and make them feel like they are working on something that is bigger than themselves.

Employees are happier when the culture at work is consistent with their values. By having community service and charity ingrained in your work ethic, you encourage employees to develop their own internal clocks.

The result is higher employee morale and a lower turnover rate. Companies who encourage giving simultaneously encourage employees to work harder and get more accomplished.

Sound too good to be true? Try it and see.

- Giving can boost employee morale
- Giving is good for the company culture
- Giving encourages staff to be more conscientious
- Giving can decrease your employee attribution rate
- Giving makes your staff even more proud to work with you Contribiutions Can Get You a Tax 


You'll want to check with the IRS or a tax attorney, but it's possible for you to claim a charitable donation tax deduction for your kindness.

Charitable donation tax deduction is normally available to all businesses that have itemized the expenses incurred towards supporting IRS-approved nonprofit organizations.
While this should not be the primary motivation, it is an added benefit that can help you grow the bottom line for your business.

Think about it: Rather than give to the IRS, why not give to one or more of the communities you serve? The benefits to your business can be a whole lot more visible, more trackable, and more effective.

How to Contribute to Nonprofit Organizations 

Here are some of the several paths you can take towards supporting nonprofit organizations:
Involve Your Customers: You can engage your customers by telling them that you’ll match every dollar they donate to a particular cause up to a certain amount. This way, the amount donated is bigger and you can make a bigger impact as you create awareness about the non-profit organization.

Provide Goods and Services: There are nonprofits that could use your goods or services. By giving them your products for free, you are helping them save on the expense they would have incurred securing those goods or services using their own money.

Write a Check: This is the simplest way to help a good cause. There is no set amount to donate. Any amount is good. The main thing is that you jump in and help out.

American Flag courtesy of The Flagmakers

How to Choose the Best Nonprofit to Support 

Be careful with your donation. Look beyond the hype to the truth of the situation. Don't rely on the name of the organization alone as the criteria.

The marketing supporting the Kars4Kids charity, for example, is fantastic. The organization uses a catchy jingle and a "vacation voucher" to get people to donate cars, boats, real estate and other items.
Commerce watchdogs in Oregon and Pennsylvania, though, fined Kars4Kid for failing to fully disclose that the money didn't go to ALL kids, but to those from a specific religious group... and that the free vacation was really a timeshare offer with "hidden costs."

The moral of the story is this: Be careful.

Websites like Charity Navigator and GuideStar can give you a better picture of where the money actually goes, how much of your donation goes to overhead, and can be a major help in deciding where to get involved.

Conclusion - Build Your Brand By Doing Good Smart giving is a win-win situation for your business AND for the community or communites you serve. If you're not giving, you need to. It simply makes sense.

Here's the final point. We touched on it earlier, but it bears repeating: Be sure to identify the communities most important to your audience.

How can you find out what those communites are? Listen in on social media, pull it from your customer persona info, and ASK your customers or clients.
If you listen to them, they will tell you everything you need to know.
Giving and Marketing seem opposite, but they're not. The author found out years ago that we really do need one another... and none of us can accomplish alone what we can accomplish together. Find out more on Twitter @boomalive.

Featured images:
License: Image author owned
Image courtesy of MyBlogGuest
Image by Smart Photo Stock 

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