Tis the season to give but don't be a dummy about it. Even when it comes to charitable donations, as a business owner you MUST be smart about your money.
Below are two paths. The politically correct way of viewing charitable donations and then there's the smart way of donating to charity. Each path has it's positive points of impact and can result in increased visibility but only one maximizes your donation.
I'll begin with the "charitable donations". This path is full of signs that read "We helped save the world", "Your donation allowed us to feed a family for the holiday" and similar statements. Donating on this path makes you feel warm inside and fuzzy all over. Here are a few benefits to "Charitable donations".
You increase visibility by partnering with a much larger brand. No one likes to be the little man for long. Make friends with those that are doing bigger things and soon you'll learn how to do as they do.
You can expand your reach to audiences outside of your initial target market and open yourself to new clients. You never know who's in the room and who's looking for their next partner.
You are verbally recognized at a large event for your donation. This is a verbal testimony of your efforts towards the community and solidifies you as a future philanthropist.
Your logo may be seen in photos shared with the media and supporters. The more eyeballs on their images equal more eyeballs on your brand.
It's a great tax cut for those businesses looking for assistance. Need I say more!
Partnering with charities allow you to connect with the community and build relationships for the future.
Then there's "Smart donatings". This path maximizes your dollars to increase awareness at the same time. When donating to charity, never be afraid to negotiate. Always position yourself in the power seat. Charities want and need our dollars to continue their movement and your hard earned funds are worth more than a social media mention and a thank you over dinner. Use this opportunity to stretch your dollars so that it benefits you and your brand. Here are a few smart ways of donating to charities.
Most donations will include a entry ticket to an event. If you're not interested in attended the event, announce your sponsorship on your social media outlets. Conduct a contest with your followers and have them share your page with friends to enter. This will increase your followers and spread the news of your charitable donation.
If the charity offers an ad space. Use that space to promote a new product, service, or class. Advertisement is not cheap. Don't waste it on pasting your logo, website, and social media. Use this to introduce a new campaign.
Speak with the sponsorship coordinator and as if you can tailor make a package that will benefit your brand. Who said that those sponsorship packages were written in stone? As the saying goes "A close mouth won't get fed". So ask!
So there you have it. Two paths, both having positive impacts. Let us know in the comments below how you've used a donation/sponsorship to expand your brand outside of the typical package.