In our previous blog post, we discussed ways that you as an entrepreneur and your small business can give back to your community, either through charitable donations of money or resources, volunteering, or fundraising initiatives that involve your customers and employees. There are many great reasons why you and your businesses should be involved in charitable works, including strengthening the bonds between your business and the community at large, generating goodwill among existing and potential customers, and improving employee morale.

Share What You’re Doing

While any charitable giving shouldn’t be primarily motivated by self-interest, there’s no practical reason why any reputable business should keep their charitable initiatives a secret, so don’t hesitate to share what you’re doing through your blog, social media accounts, and press releases to outside media. However, there are methods of marketing your charitable actions that are more effective and tasteful than others.

The Golden Rule Of Marketing

There is one rule that should be strictly adhered to when marketing and promoting your charitable works, so much so that it could be referred to as a golden rule: never place yourself or your business at the forefront of an advertisement or content marketing strategy that features your charitable giving or initiatives. In much the same way that you don’t want to place your business or one of your products or services at the forefront of any messaging commemorating a sacrosanct anniversary or holiday, it’s never a good idea to put your business or product before a charitable group or worthy cause. While studies have shown that customers and potential customers empathize with and look more favorably upon businesses that support the same charities they care about and support, those good feelings can quickly turn to disdain or even anger if your customer believes that you are using or even exploiting the charity simply to improve the public image of your business.

Promoting Your Chosen Organizations

When you are writing and editing content marketing and other content, such as a press release, always write from the perspective that your business is honored to be working with the charity, and keep the “spotlight” on the charity and away from your business. If a charitable donation was made by the business, either in the form of a monetary donation or a donation of company resources, be sure to prominently feature quotes from the owner or chief executive of the business expressing admiration for the work of the charity. The quotes will generate empathy with an audience whose sympathies naturally align with the charity. If charitable donations were made by the employees of the business, or if employees volunteered their own time or resources to a charitable initiative, it is acceptable to shift the focus to a limited extent to your employees, as your audience can also empathize with them in ways that they can’t naturally empathize with your business.

Your Audience Will Feel Motivated To Help

It is always important to remember that marketing your charitable efforts revolves around empathy. Your business is motivated by a collective sense of empathy with the charity to donate, and your customers and potential customers can begin to empathize with the values they share with your business by way of your charitable donations and initiatives. Even if your initiative didn’t include an option for your customers to participate, they still want to feel as though the option is open for them to participate, either now or in the future, and to share in the goodwill. For this reason, be sure to write your content as if you were sharing the experience of donating with your audience, and be sure to include as much information as possible about the charity itself, including what it does, where it’s located, and, most importantly, what the charity plans to do in the future. Always include contact information for the charity, and be sure to include any other information that your customers and potential customers can use to help, including specific dates for future events and campaigns.