As business executives, we are approached on a regular basis by non-profit organizations who are seeking financial assistance. In some cases, clients themselves ask that you consider supporting organizations that are near and dear to their hearts.
How do you handle all of these requests? The advice I’ve provided throughout my career in marketing and public relations is to choose one organization to support in a given year. By doing this, you aren’t thinning your company’s charitable resources. Choosing a single charitable organization allows your company to maximize its financial impact to the organization.
How do you choose which organization your company will support? How you choose the non-profit your company will support is a critical step often overlooked by many business owners and marketers. For example, if you choose a non-profit that only you are passionate about, it’s highly likely you will have a difficult time motivating others to join the cause. It won’t be impossible, but your support won’t reach its maximum potential. Instead, business owners and marketers should first look to employees of your business to gauge an accurate pulse on what they’re most passionate about.
Discuss as a team and come away with two or three general areas of interest. These should be broad in nature, such as helping the homeless, caring for children, or supporting our veterans. By gathering the thoughts and opinions of your staff, you are satisfying one of the areas of public relations too often overlooked and forgotten: internal communications.
In part two I’ll talk about gauging your clients’ interests to find the best organization to support, and also contacting the media to get the word out about your charitable venture.