Are you inundated with charities and nonprofits asking you for donations and/or free printing? It seems the list of good causes is endless, and it becomes hard to say no, especially if some of these organizations are your customers and it is one of your target markets. Equally important is our obligation to give back to the community that supports us and to the good causes we believe in.
How can we strategically make this a business advantage and still do the right thing for good causes? Some of us may need to learn to say “no” but that is too simple of an answer. This is certainly easier if you are in a relatively hidden location and are not actively engaged in the community. Of course, if it is that hard to find or engage, you it may also be a marketing problem.
In our Marketing & Print Division, we have pretty much solved this problem for our centers with a program we call the Footprint Fund. Our franchise members basically create a “fund” that they budget for each year. They provide in-kind services via the Footprint Fund that charities or nonprofits can apply for each year. The applicants are judged by an independent board of advisors and awarded based on merit and need.
When our participating centers are asked for a donation, they simply suggest that the organization apply to the Footprint Fund. This gives a positive message that their request will be considered without the need for an immediate cash donation or the need to say, “No.”
Here are some other ways to “strategically” give back without breaking the bank:
We should all give back to the community and to causes that fit our business and our personal values. However, if we are to operate a successful business, we should give back strategically and make it a part our business plan and marketing plan. By the way, if you don’t have a written business plan and marketing plan it is business sense and sensibility that you develop one and equally important to follow it and “get it done.”