For small business owners who have plans to give back, promoting charitable giving activities is essential to make the biggest impact on the community, and your supporters. No matter what the cause, whether it be an annual event like a fun-run, a canned food donation drive, or a fundraising program to benefit a specific charity; make sure it’s visible to employees, customers, and supporters. Maximizing your impact takes more than just sending out one social media post the day before, however. Promoting a charitable giving campaign, before, during, and after the fact is crucial to making the most of your branding efforts and to create buzz and on-going awareness for the cause you are supporting.
Bigger businesses can provide some great examples on ways to promote your charitable work. Take for example, Rutter’s convenience stores located primarily in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia. Each year, this brand chooses five charities and lets customers vote with their dollars on which one will receive a donation by using a special VIP card for their purchases. Rutter’s does a great job of notifying the press in the local communities they operate in for coverage, and getting customers excited with an email before the event.
Each year they take group photos of their team members presenting the year’s donation with a giant cheque, which can then be used on social media, in newsletters, and on their website time and time again. Their extended promotional efforts work to keep their causes and their brand top-of-mind long after the campaigns have completed. Rutter’s isn’t silent about their charity work, and neither should your small business be. Here are a few tips to help find your small business’ voice, and extend the life of your giving for a greater impact.
Building Visibility Beforehand
Large companies are sophisticated in how they promote their charitable giving campaigns, but the reasons behind doing so are just the same for small businesses. No matter the size of your business, giving helps to build brand equity with customers, attracting and retaining loyal employees, generating awareness for the cause, and encouraging participation. When putting the time and effort into launching a giving campaign, your goal is going to be to get the most out of it. By bringing attention beforehand to consumers and getting employees excited about your efforts, you can do just that.
Give people a reason to support your brand. Shedding light on your campaign before it begins, will allow you to accomplish more for your community and your company:
- Take to Social Media - Social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Youtube are great for reaching current and potential customers. These are great places to share stories about why you’re holding the event, and help customers build an emotional connection to your cause with impactful visuals.
- Get Employees Involved - Allowing employees to participate in how your business gives can increase overall job satisfaction, and help them feel included in achieving a shared goal.
- Generate Press - Don’t be shy about pursuing media attention. Doing so strengthens employee engagement, attracts better candidates, and encourages deeper support from consumers and investors. When people hear about acts of compassion, they are more likely to want to take part in your experience.
- Incentivize Customers - If you’re holding an event like a charity fun-run, incentivize customers to participate. This can come in the form of offering a coupon for purchasing tickets, giving a free item away, or putting their name in for a raffle.
Keeping People Interested & Engaged During Your Giving Campaign
You’ve laid the groundwork for your charitable giving campaign with creative ideas and promotion tactics, and now the time you’ve been waiting for is here - launch day. Think of this as your opportunity to engage your employees and customers and to highlight the the need, cause or problem you’re trying to address.
- Be Organic - Again, social media is a great tool for showcasing your charitable giving campaign while it's happening. Try capturing organic moments between customers or employees that show their participation. Posting these interactions online will get those featured in the image and their peers excited to share the post to gain more views.
- Give Your Campaign Physical Space - Whether you have a front desk, or a cashier stand at the front of your business, use this as a spot to show off your campaign. Here you can display pictures of your employees helping out, flyers about the event, or even a status bar on what’s been earned so far. This can grab the attention of customers to start a conversation, while acting as a reminder to employees of the importance their contributions hold.
- Share Updates with Customers - With most charitable giving campaigns, it’s likely you’ll be working towards raising money or donations towards a cause. As you raise more and see your impact grow, share your progress. Don’t limit it to just one platform, this can be done using an email, social post, or short blog post. Doing so helps people get excited to share these wins with you.
- Provide Progress Updates to Employees - At the start of each day, let employees know what’s been accomplished so far, and how close you are to reaching your goals. For longer giving programs, holding a company-wide meeting to go over this weekly or monthly is a great way to share this information with your workers.
Leveraging Giving Programs After the Fact
Just because your giving campaign has ended doesn’t mean promoting it should too. Now is the time to share what you were able to accomplish, and help employees and customers feel included and celebrate in knowing they played a big role in its success. By extending the life of the good you’ve done, you can continue raising awareness for your chosen charity after the campaign has ended and get people excited for the next one you’ll have to offer.
- Blog About It - Posting the success and story of your charitable giving campaign acts as a piece of evergreen content that can be used across many different platforms. This is a great place to share the full story of the campaign, show support for the cause you believed in, and share what was able to be accomplished.
- Share it on Social Media - You don’t have to stop with just one social media post thanking customers for their support. Talk about the results of your campaign, and deliver your story in small pieces to keep consumers intrigued. Take group photos that can be reused, that both employees and consumers will love to see.
- Send Out an Email Blast - Another great way to share is by sending out an email event the day after the event. This gives you a chance to tell consumers what causes their purchases or efforts supported.
- Say Thank You to Employees - Your employees likely played a large role in your success, so find simple ways to thank them for their hard work and ensure they feel appreciated. If your business has multiple departments, most find it meaningful to be praised by their immediate supervisor, so take advantage of that when you can.
- Encourage Participation from Workers - Your business’ managers and employees are a direct representation of your brand, so encourage them to share their contributions with others. Encourage them to share on social media when they feel comfortable, because this can help build authenticity in the eyes of consumers.
Extend the Life of Your Generosity
There’s no right or wrong way to share your giving program. What’s important is that you understand the various ways you can communicate with your audience, and deliver your message in a way that will make them excited to listen. Your strategy should consider multiple channels to reach the most people and make the greatest splash.
seedership is here to help you share with customers, no matter what mode of communication they prefer. Our platform allows small business owner’s to track how they give, and easily share this information with captivating social media posts, newsletter snippets, and website-friendly collateral.
When you share how you give with others, everyone wins. Get the word out, and make the most of your charitable work.