Tips for Marketing Your Corporate Philanthropy Program
Cause marketing is one of the hottest topics in the corporate philanthropy field right now. To maximize the benefit of your corporate social responsibility initiatives, it is essential that you get the word out about what your company is doing. Cause marketing isn’t just about building good PR for your business, it’s also about taking advantage of all available opportunities to maximize the impact of your philanthropic initiatives. When more people know about what your company is doing, participation levels for your program will rise.
Here are some simple tips for marketing your corporate philanthropy program:
Integrate Philanthropy into Your Corporate Culture
Building a true culture of philanthropy at your company is the first step to an effective cause marketing strategy. For a CSR program to be effective there must be buy-in from top level executives, and employees need to understand your company’s philanthropic goals. Explain to everyone that there are shared interests between core business goals and building stronger ties within the community, and that consumers are more likely to do business with a company that is active in giving back.
Contribute More than Just Money
Writing a giant corporate check may seem like the easiest approach to philanthropy, but this is rarely the most effective long term strategy. Building a complete program around cash and product donations, employee giving, corporate gift matching, volunteering, and disaster response will give your business’s philanthropic initiatives a more well-rounded foundation to thrive in the future. A holistic approach to philanthropy shows that your company is serious about giving back, which will have a greater impact than any one initiative.
Know Your Audiences
One of the first rules for developing any kind of a marketing strategy is to know your target audiences. With cause marketing, you likely face a wide range of audiences that you need to reach: senior executives, employees, shareholders, customers, and the community at large. Work to understand all of these stakeholders and learn what resonates with them. There is no one-size-fits-all approach that can work here. How you communicate your program to the board of directors will probably vary greatly from how you communicate it to your customers.
Invite Your Customers to Participate
Customers can be among the most influential communication tools a company has. Communicating through social media and blogs can spread a message across the country and around the world. Be sure you connect with your customers and invite them to be a part of any events you are holding in support of a cause. Often, a company’s most enthusiastic customers can become brand advocates who provide valuable third-party endorsement of the company’s actions.
Be Transparent About Numbers
If you share any numbers highlighting the success of your corporate philanthropy program, make sure you are honest and transparent about where these numbers come from. Nothing can destroy credibility faster than a company getting caught twisting or manipulating numbers to take credit for things they had nothing to do with. Make sure you have a reliable CSR platform in place that tracks, analyzes, and reports on everything you are doing so you can be confident that your data is accurate.