How to Work with Charities without a Backlash

Working with charities can be a great way to raise your company’s profile and to foster both traffic and engagement, but it can also go horribly wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s because consumers can smell insincerity from a mile away, and if they think that you’re doing something just to promote your company then they’ll turn on you in a heartbeat.

But that doesn’t mean that working with charities is too risky for you to consider. Instead, the key is to approach it in the same way that you would as a person. When people volunteer for charities, they tend to do it because those charities are close to their heart. After all, time is money, and very few people offer to feed the homeless or to clean cat shelters unless they’re passionate about the cause involved.

When it comes to your sales and marketing efforts, working with a charity can be a great way to do some good in the world while simultaneously generating leads and customers, but only if there’s a good fit. Similarly to the recent post in which we talked about reaching out to bloggers, the best corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives add value to three parties: the company, the charity, and the people that the charity aims to help.


Charity Marketing
Charity Marketing


Honesty and Integrity

CSR and corporate charity initiatives are so widespread these days that it’s almost expected that a company will give back to the community around them. The key is to take a good long look at the company and to determine which kind of charities it’s best placed to help. Sometimes companies put it to the vote and allow their employees to decide, and sometimes the decision is made by the founder or the CEO.

Remember, though, that there’s no point just talking the talk. For example, if your company is working with a mental health charity but it doesn’t offer any internal infrastructure to help staff or if it punishes people for taking mental health days, the word will soon get out. In today’s fast-paced digital age, transparency is the default. Employees can write about your company on Glassdoor or talk about it on social networking sites, and it’s not just consumers who can sense inauthenticity.

Some of the best examples of corporate charity work are those in which the charity work is built directly into the way that the company works. One example of this is the search engine Ecosia, which plants trees in exchange for people choosing it to make searches. Another great example is Dog For Dog, a dog food brand which donates a bag of food to a shelter for every bag that’s sold to a consumer.


Charity Marketing



However you choose to do it, working with charities is a great way to give back to the causes that you care about while simultaneously raising the profile of your company. It’s also not necessarily about raising money. In our case, for example, we can offer free marketing services to charities that we care about, and web developers, app developers, graphic designers and film-makers can also add a lot of value to a charity simply by providing some time. Just make sure that you’re sincere when you start working with charities and keep an eye on the response that the campaign gets. Good luck.

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