Many business owners we work with have a particular charitable cause that is near and dear to their heart. And being a business owner means having a distinct voice in the community. So some of our clients have come to us wondering how to incorporate their support of a charitable cause into their overall brand. How should you communicate your support or share your values with your customers?
How to Support a Charitable Cause Without Overwhelming Your Customers
The issue, of course, is that not all of your customers will be passionate about the same cause. You don’t want them walking in your store (or perusing your website) and feeling like they are being browbeaten into supporting your pet cause (even if pets are literally your cause–not everyone feels the same way about those adorable little puppies!).
What people DO like is to feel that they are supporting a brand that is socially conscious. It feels good to support a business that isn’t just in it for the money. For example, Chipotle is known for its philanthropy–in 2015, they donated $9.3 million to various community organizations (including schools, community gardens, and local fundraisers) and $3 million to organizations like Food Corps and the International Rescue Committee. So while you probably don’t go to Chipotle just because of their philanthropic efforts, it does help you have a warm, fuzzy feeling while you eat your enormous burrito.
If you want to support a charitable cause, you can be creative about how you provide that support. Businesses can provide services rather than financial donations, for instance. At Focus, we provide pro bono marketing support to one of our favorite charities, Night Lights. Since we are all working moms, we love that this charity aligns with our values, but we also don’t think that all of our clients have to make this their priority. We just hope they appreciate the fact that we are proud to give our time to an organization that is doing good in the community.
The fine line to walk is demonstrating your support of a charitable cause without pushing a social agenda on your customers.
Have any questions about how to incorporate your charity work into your business’s brand? Contact Niki at firstname.lastname@example.org.