With the national economy still recovering from the recent recession and the economic outlook lukewarm at best, the business climate that many organizations currently face is rather daunting. There are numerous ways that different types of organizations within a community can team up to help each other weather this economic downturn. One excellent combination is the partnership that can develop between small businesses and charities.
Small businesses and charities may seem worlds apart on the surface, but they both operate using a similar business model. Small businesses are unable to continue operating without the money acquired from customers who purchase their goods or services. Similarly, charities also need money to stay afloat. However, the subtle difference is that instead of providing a good or service to the person who gives the money, a charity uses the money given by donors to provide goods and services for someone else on the donor’s behalf. Otherwise, both types of organizations have a similar need to establish and build a client base, market their respective operations and maintain their income at sustainable levels. Teamwork between businesses and charities can facilitate all of the above.
The most obvious way that a small business and a charity might work together is when a business supports a charity with direct financial contributions. However, this is a one-sided arrangement; there are more complex ways that the two types of organizations can team up that benefits both the small business and the charity.
A small business needs new and repeat customers just as a charitable organization needs new and repeat donors in order to remain in business. An effective partnership between a small business and a charity can include mutual marketing to each other’s clients. A business can ask for a donation from their customers on behalf of the charity, or can notify their customers that a portion of every sale benefits the charity. Thus advertising on behalf of the charity and also helping the charity with direct financial donations. The charity can publicly thank the business for
their support and mention the business name in their literature, which generates free advertising for the business.
One aspect of marketing that is extremely important and yet almost impossible to quantify is the image that any business operation projects in the community that they serve. There is no amount of money that can buy a good name and positive image. A business that publicly supports a charity lets their customers know that the business cares for the wider community and is willing to support it. The donors and recipients of a charity who are aware that it is supported by a particular business will also develop positive feelings for the business. The customers of both the business and the charity are more likely to speak positively about the other entity and give “word of mouth” referrals because of the goodwill that is developed by the partnership.
The patronage of both the business and the charity by the clients of the other will increase the income level of both organizations. The business may attract new customers because of the increased publicity and exposure in the community, and the charity might reach donors who would not have known of their existence but for their association with the business.
Seldom in the business world or the wider world at large can so much good come from such a simple and logical collaboration as the partnership of small businesses and charitable organizations.
Article inspired by Prize Homes Australia.
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