How to raise funds for charity, and why your company should donate
If you’re like most people, your New Year’s resolution involves improvement in some way, be it eating right, learning a new skill, or advancing your business. Also, if you’re like most people, you could use some help keeping on track. One way to better your business and help others is to get involved in philanthropy. Whether you’re raising funds or donating, it can be a win-win for all involved.
How to find donors
- Cast a Wide Net
Omnichannel outreach helps maximize the pool of potential donors. Focus on mobile to draw in younger donors, who are quite inclined to giving or volunteering and who are on their phones a lot. Short videos are often more effective than long treatises for millennials and Generation Z. But don’t neglect the older generations who have more money and who are best reached via email or even — gasp! — in person.
- Partner with other businesses
This mutually beneficial approach gives you both opportunities to reach new people while lessening the pressure to deliver. Sharing ideas is almost always a good thing.
Teaming up with another business that shares your philosophy, you might find a base of reliable donors who are also on board. For example, Qantas and Starwood Hotels & Resorts across Asia Pacific both work with UNICEF.
- Ask Your Supporters
As you’re still in business, presumably you have satisfied customers. While they are probably happy with you because you met a deadline or a quota, there is probably something about the way you conduct yourself and your organization that gives them a warm, fuzzy feeling. If they appreciate what you stand for, they’re likely to support a charity you support.
- Ask Those Supporters About Their Friends
Your satisfied customers have probably told others about you, and you’ve probably gotten referral business through that channel. Your customers’ friends don’t just have similar business needs, they have many of the same interests, including which charities to support.
- Solve a Problem
It’s the old, “I scratch your back, you scratch mine” exchange. Perhaps a client of yours needs your expertise. If it’s a simple answer on your end that doesn’t take too much time or effort, consider asking the client for a donation to your charity in lieu of payment.
- Return on Investment
Obviously, helping others is a good thing in and of itself, but charity can pay dividends in the long run. Maybe it means more people with housing or reliable transportation, who are now able to get jobs and put more money into the economy. Or perhaps you donate a few of your products, which leads to a future sale.
- Positive Press
If you’re known for constantly being charitable, that will go a long way toward cultivating a good reputation in the community. Of course, you have to be careful that positive press is not your primary motivation, as people will be able to detect insincerity. Call attention to a particular cause near to your heart and be a real advocate. The rest will follow naturally.
- Better Candidates
In developing a reputation as a company that cares, you’ll find that more people want to work for you, which increases the talent pool when it’s time to hire. Also, through events and fundraisers, you’ll encounter some great, hard-working people who could be assets to your company down the line.
It definitely helps to get your employees together outside of the office and have some fun while working toward a common goal. A little friendly competition over who can raise the most money or walk the most miles can channel energy in the right direction. The bonds created by getting together outside of work will carry over into office hours.
- It Feels Good
Forget about the bottom line for a second. Helping others simply feels good. It’s ingrained in human nature. Studies have shown that giving can decrease stress and blood pressure in the giver, and increase life expectancy. There’s a reason Ebenezer Scrooge was so unhappy as a miser and much more cheerful when he shared his wealth.