- by Montgomery Miller
- November 9th, 2017
‘Tis the Season for Giving…Back!
It Matters to Your Customers
Today, consumers are choosing who they want to buy from based on many factors. Pricing, reputation, and location continue to be primary drivers, but many consumers are also interested in doing business with companies that give back. In fact, according to a May 2016 article in Inc. 85% of customers have a better outlook on and prefer businesses and brands that support a charity they care about.
Building Strong Communities
There are many reasons I advise clients to select and support charitable causes. Often referred to as “cause marketing”, giving back to the communities where one is doing business is appealing to consumers for a variety of reasons. People tend to care about the community they live in. So, when they do business with a company they like to see some of that money going back into the community. This can make giving to local charities and non-profits an even more attractive incentive to support a business.
Many Ways to Give
Smith Wealth Advisors, a client of my agency, supports a mix of local, regional and national charities, all of which benefit the residents of Austin and surrounding communities. At the local level, Founder Ron Smith turned his love of baseball and a need to provide his young sons with some exposure to athletics into support for Western Hills Little League.
According to Ron, “Giving back to the community is not only important to me personally, it’s important to my clients.” Since launching his wealth management firm in 2015, Smith has sponsored the Dell Match Play Golf Tournament, held in March at the Austin Country Club. Proceeds from the event benefit several local non-profits. In addition, Smith supports the Dell Make-A-Wish Golf Tournament in Georgetown to raise funds to help grant the wishes of local children affected by serious health conditions. This year, Ron donated a Dell Match Play Golf package as a silent auction item for the Regents School of Austin Thanksgiving Gala.
Get Creative with Your Giving
There are also some very creative ways to give back to your community. My client Chris Raeder, Principal at Autocraft Bodywerks, supports Catholic charities through donations to St. John Neumann Catholic Church and through a monthly radio schedule on Relevant Radio that promotes his collision repair business. Autocraft Bodywerks also supports the important efforts of the South Austin Pregnancy Resource Center in making the Austin community a better place to live. In 2016, Chris added the Center for Child Protection to his list of organizations to support.
This year, Chris decided to broaden his efforts by establishing a monthly donation of $10 for every vehicle repaired and providing a highly visible display inside the Autocraft Bodywerks lobby in support of the Tomorrow’s Child Foundation. The goal of the foundation is to create an endowment providing the resources needed to fund child abuse prevention programs in collaboration with the Center for Child Protection, to end the cycle of child abuse within the next three generations. “Sending a check is easy,” explains Raeder, “I realized that by creating a dynamic display in our lobby, I could share an important message with every guest that walks in our door, and perhaps inspire some of them to give back. Inspiring a giving spirit in others is an important part of my mission as a business owner and a member of our community.”
Follow Your Passion
If you’re looking for a way for your business to give back to your community, use your own passion as your guide. There are many worthy causes to support and once you find the ones that are making the kind of difference you want to be a part of, take some time to learn about what they do and how they use the donations they receive. Then share what you are doing with your customers and your employees. Encourage volunteerism and consider mentioning your efforts in your advertising. Share these efforts in staff meetings or create a unique display to share with customers who visit your business.
For many people, the Christmas season is a season of giving, but why not make giving back a year-round activity by building a program into your business model. And while you’re at it, consider inspiring others as a part of your personal mission. It’s good for your bottom line, good for the soul and you may just sleep better at night.
For assistance in choosing the charities you want to support I found some very helpful information here.