Marcy DiBlasio, past president and current vice president of education and programs for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, NJ, Southern Chapter, believes involving your business in the local, regional, and/or global community is a win-win strategy. You’ll feel good about giving back while building opportunities for brand awareness, customer loyalty and a robust bottom line.
1. JOIN GROUPS: Local chambers of commerce or other associations allow you to network and tap into information, resources and prospects.
2. SPONSOR PROJECTS OR EVENTS: Which not-for-profit’s mission aligns with your corporate culture? Which organizations have served your employees and their families? Providing gifts in kind [donating items or services instead of money]—or much-needed dollars—helps insure these community resources are here to serve into the future. A positive perk: Sponsorship listings, or media publicity, show your community you care.
3. VOLUNTEER TIME, SPACE: Share your talents or offer space for groups to meet. More people will learn about you and your business.
4. BECOME AN EXPERT: Teach a class, write a Q&A blog or be interviewed on radio shows or forum panels.
5. INVOLVE YOUR EMPLOYEES: Encourage your employees to serve as corporate ambassadors. Invite staff to suggest support for charities important to them. Consider a lunchtime volunteer fair, create a volunteer incentive/recognition program or provide PTO for community service. You’ll build rapport and respect because employees feel good about working for a business that is doing well.
Published (and copyrighted) in South Jersey Biz, Volume 4, Issue 11 (November, 2014).
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