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Cause Marketing and #GivingTuesday

Now’s the time to choose (or continue to support) your cause, personally and for your business.  The Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the U.S. is labelled #GivingTuesday. Take a moment and firm up your giving.  This post will discuss personal charity selection, how to follow the charity, reasons for Cause Marketing, what a business needs to do for Cause Marketing and my selected charity, the CHOC Foundation.

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Personal Charity Selection

Select one non-profit organization that you will follow this year.  Choose one that you feel a connection to.  It could be health related as you know someone with or has had this health issue.  It could be a political cause.  It could be religious.  It could be local such as the local high school education fund.  It could be outside of the country such as an organization focusing on starving children in Africa.  It could be a small non-profit or it could  be a large non-profit.  Maybe it is one that you will follow for many years or maybe for only a year.   The decision is yours.    Be comfortable with your selection. By following one or more non-profits this year you will be helping others as well as feeling better about yourself.

Non-profit Following

What do I mean by following?  Here are my thoughts on this:

  • Review the chosen organization’s website and get to know the organization such as what is their message, who do they help, what activities do they have coming up and how you can be involved with them.  Know enough about this organization so that you can comfortably tell others about it.
  • If the organization has a sign up to receive their newsletter, sign up for it so that you can get notified of any events or new information for this organization.  Make it easy for that organization to communicate to you.
  • Check out their status to make sure they are legitimate and worthy of following.  If they are a larger non-profit, check them out on http://www.charitynavigator.org.
  • If you use Facebook and if they have a Facebook fan page, become a fan of that organization so that you are can be easily informed of information from this selected organization.  Make sure that you suggest to others that they become a fan of this organization.
  • If you use Twitter and if they have a Twitter account, follow them.  Suggest to others that they follow this organization.  Remember to send out a tweet about the organization on charity Tuesdays or when they have events such as a walk-a-thon.
  • Check out other social media networks of the organization such as YouTube channel, Instagram page and blog to get a better understanding of the organization.
  • If they take donations, make a donation, even if it is a small amount.  This donation solidifies your connection with this organization.  Or make a non-money donation, that the organization can use for a drawing such as sporting event tickets or a week at your vacation home.
  • If they have a fund raising event like a carnival or pancake breakfast, make sure you attend as well as encourage others to attend including your LinkedIn Connections, Facebook Friends, Twitter Followers, workmates and neighbors.
  • If they have some kind of volunteer activity, if possible, volunteer some of your time.    This could include volunteering activities such as a beach cleanup or manning a booth.  Or if you have an expertise that the organization could take advantage of, please volunteer your services.  For example if you are a graphic designer then you could help them create their next event brochure or ad.

Multiple touch points with the organization is key.  These touch points might draw others into being involved with your selected organization.  Much like Twitter followers, usually one follower leads to another follower.  Much like LinkedIn Connections, a new connection usually leads to another connection.  A small activity by you could lead to great benefit to your selected organization which could lead to assisting a great amount of people.

Selected Non-profit

CHOC Foundation is my chosen non-profit.  The CHOC Foundation for children exists to generate community awareness and resources for Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), supporting specific strategies that underscore the hospitals’ local and national leadership in prevention, treatment and research programs. CHOC Foundation for Children’s fundraising activities are guided by six philanthropic aspirations: to provide quality medical care for all children; to treat chronic and catastrophic illnesses; to emphasize illness and injury prevention; to support the well-being of children; to achieve medical breakthroughs; and to serve as a community leader and partner in the care of children.  Check them out at: http://www.choc.org/

Cause Marketing

I feel that any business with more than 5 employees should have a cause that it supports and promotes.  Cause Marketing involves the cooperative efforts of a for-profit business and a non-profit organization for mutual benefit.  It is a relationship and not just a giving.  The for-profit business wants to be “doing well by doing good.”  It has to be authentic.  Do it right or don’t do it at all.

Reasons for Cause Marketing

  1. Brand differentiation.  Be different.  Be memorable
  2. Makes employees feel good as they want to work for a company that gives
  3. Clients are expecting it as they want to do business with businesses who are making the world a better place

What a Business Needs to Do

  1. Find your own true social mission based on your company’s values.  Talk to your employees and clients.  If your business sells to higher education then maybe the non-profit would be one that focuses on education.  If you sell locally then maybe the non-profit should be one that helps those in your local community.
  2. Find the right non-profit partner.  Sounds easy, but does take some time.  Check them out and make sure they are reputable.   Find out if they are willing to work with a business.  Maybe they are too small to execute activities with your company.  Or maybe they are too large and won’t spend the time to work with you.
  3. Plan and execute the Cause Marketing activities to maximize the marketing benefit.  Make Cause Marketing part of the marketing plan.  Remember that social media should be a big part of these activities.  The for-profit business must share the real pictures and real stories of the cause.
  4. As with other marketing activities, measure the impact of your Cause Marketing.
  5. Make any necessary adjustments (maybe change non-profits if necessary) and repeat.

Thanks for reading.  Wishing you the best for you and your selected non-profit organization.  And send me your information on your non-profit (including URL) as well as your Cause Marketing thoughts.

 

 

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