Four Ways Your Company Can Give Back in Q4
As the holiday season draws near, have you considered weaving charitable initiatives into your brand’s seasonal activities? The holidays are prime time to roll out internal and external programs that give back to those in need – about 34% of all charitable giving is done in the last three months of the year, of which about 18% are given in December alone.
At BDSmktg, we make it a focus to give back to our community and support a variety of causes not only during the holidays, but throughout the rest of the year. Our teams have given their time, money, and in-kind donations to various local and national charities, such as National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), Operation Shoebox , Working Wardrobes, Toys for Tots, and more over the years.
Based on our experience, we’ve put together four effective ways in which brands can implement their own philanthropic strategy. These initiatives can change year to year, or become an annual tradition.
1. Create a philanthropic committee or social responsibility program within your company.
Consider establishing a volunteer-based committee within your company to handle all of your charitable events and contributions. Not only does this make giving back to your community a more regular occurrence, but it also gives employees an opportunity to work on causes that reflect your company’s values. Here at BDS, we established the BDS Gives Back committee: a 10-member team that includes both BDS employees and partners. This year, our focus was on charitable organizations that help children. To support this cause, our committee launched two major events in partnership with NCMEC: hosting an all-day fundraiser and driving participation for their nationwide social media campaign. Through BDS Gives Back, we’ve had the opportunity to further our partnership with NCMEC and give back on a much larger scale.
2. Choose an organization that aligns with your brand and culture.
Before you decide on an organization to support, you should consider your brand essence, unique culture and values. There are a few questions you should ask as you find the right cause, such as “Does the organization’s mission align with my company’s values?” and “Does this fit our mission as a company?”. Look to brands that have successfully established social responsibility programs that fit with their brand essence. For example, Hanes, America’s leading sock brand, has partnered with the Salvation Army to gather socks for the homeless. The company “has donated more than 1.9 million pairs of socks to The Salvation Army since launching the program in 2009.”
3. Provide volunteer opportunities for your employees.
Consider building “days of service” into your company’s schedule. It’s truly amazing to see the positive changes a dedicated team can make in their community over the course of a single afternoon. Many companies have implemented programs in which they offer paid volunteer time off to their employees. For example, “Salesforce lets its employees take as much as 56 total paid hours (seven days) for volunteering every year.” Companies have found that by offering paid volunteer time off programs there is an associated boost in morale and company loyalty.
4. Get your customers involved.
The holidays are the perfect time to tap into your customers’ goodwill! So many brands have already experienced the impact of cause marketing during the holiday season. For example, last year Patagonia announced that they were giving 100% of their “global retail and online Black Friday sales directly to grassroots nonprofits working on the frontlines to protect our air, water and soil for future generations.” The results of their campaign were astonishing – with the help of their customers, Patagonia “reached a record-breaking $10 million in sales”, five times what they had expected.
Looking to enhance your cause marketing initiative with an in-store presence? Our experts are at the ready to design a program that achieves your unique business goals. Contact us today!