If you run a small business, then having a charity you support can offer lots of benefits – as well as just the satisfaction of helping a good cause. With philanthropy a big deal in the social media age, charitable giving can allow you to gain some good publicity, perform interesting marketing activities, and also build good relationships within the local or wider community.

Here we look at why supporting a charity is a definite ‘win win’ and how to choose a cause to support:

MacMillan Cancer Support 10K Charity Run
photo credit: George Armstrong

Some of the Many Reasons Associating Your Business with a Charity is a Good Idea

Without wanting charity to sound like a cynical marketing effort, it does offer a lot of advantages. If you can build your brand image, reach out to more people, garner goodwill and encourage sharing of news of what you are doing, and all while giving money to people who really need it (rather than, say, spending it on Facebook ads to try and get a similar result) then there really is no downside!

People are always happy to hear news about fundraising and good things that are being done to help those less fortunate. This means that any communications you put out about your efforts to help a charity are going to be more warmly received than promotional messages. Equally, doing things for charity also allows you to come up with fun stories that can grab people’s imagination and spread more easily – you can do all kinds of wacky and interesting stuff to raise money for a charity, and this is much more likely to lead to content sharing or local news coverage than the normal things you do as a business.

Supporting a charity can also help you build your brand identity and be seen as a company that cares, one that has certain ethical values, or simply one that is a fun place to work because they are always doing cool sounding stuff to support a cause.

Add to this the benefits of working closely with a charity and the connections you can make by doing this (for example, attending fundraisers, meeting people who work for the charity and so on), and it is clear that this is one of the most rewarding things you can do in a business sense as well as a social responsibility one.

Charity: Water
photo credit: Silicon Prairie News

Choose Your Cause

Choose a cause that fits well with your business identity or your own identity as an entrepreneur. As an example, Aubrey Chernick of the Stanford alumni is known for doing things like giving money towards educating underprivileged people. If you are a local business, a local charity can be a good choice. If your business ties in with something else or has a particularly green stance, you can use that to help you choose. Otherwise, you can choose something that says something about you or your company, for example, a company that wants to seem young, energetic and fun may support a charity that rehomes dogs, or a very family oriented company might choose a children’s charity.

Charitable giving allows you to really make a difference as well as helping you with your business aims. Choose one cause and build a strong partnership with them, and both of you will reap the rewards!