How To Incorporate Charity And Volunteer Work Into Your Marketing Strategy

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Millennials, who comprise the largest living generation in the U.S., care about causes. They are more likely than members of other generations to do business with companies associated with a cause and they like to work for companies that give back. They also account for more than one in three workers in this country and will make up nearly 50% of the workforce in a few years.

"Millennials are more receptive to cause marketing than previous generations and are more likely to buy items associated with a cause," wrote Jeff Fromm, who speaks and consults on millennials. "They also expect companies to support the social issues and causes they care about and will reward them if they do."

Non-millennials like to do business with companies that do good, too. So it makes sense to incorporate charity and volunteer work into a marketing strategy. But how do you do that without making it feel like marketing?

Choose the right cause.

If you want to make philanthropy part of your marketing strategy, it’s important to choose the right cause. If food is your business, align yourself with a program that feeds the poor. Look for a cause that needs your product or service. You want something that aligns with your corporate vision, but make sure that your efforts aren’t solely about self-promotion.

Get everyone involved.

The more the merrier when it comes to giving. When you’re working philanthropy into your marketing efforts, get as many people involved as possible. This year, RAGS, a Utah company that makes limited-stock rompers for kids, got employees and customers engaged in its giving project. It promoted a toy-donation event for a local nonprofit, Community Action Services, on social media and encouraged fans to use a hashtag to promote the event. It teamed up with a few other businesses and had high-demand gifts for people who came to the event with a toy to donate. Fifty people received a free backpack-style diaper bag and 100 people got a free RAG. There also were raffle prizes donated by the venue. With the toy-donation drive, the company helped a charity in the community and connected with existing and new customers.

Don’t over promote yourself.

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