“It’s for a great cause!” and “It’s good for business!” You seldom hear these phrases together, but a quality cause marketing program can be both. And for companies looking for unique opportunities, learning to harness this can mean a huge boost for their business (and favorite charity).
Marrying businesses with nonprofits is a strategy that Sherri Cliffe, President of Cliffedge, has incorporated into her programs from the very beginning. Sitting down with her to discuss her experiences, Cliffe, who currently serves as Chairman of the Board for Children’s Miracle Network of Greater St. Louis, offered three crucial ways in which working with nonprofits can help grow your business.
1. It can make for a great partnership:
Anyone who owns or has started their own business can attest that success and networking often go hand-in-hand. And this networking doesn’t have to stop with your typical corporations. There are a wealth of nonprofits out there (15,000 in the state of Missouri alone, according to Nonprofit Missouri) which offer their own set of opportunities. As Cliffe confirms, “Working with nonprofits and understanding the needs at hand for a charity can make for a great partnership. You can help each other achieve your own set of goals, all in the name of a great cause. One of the easiest ways to network with your favorite charity is to volunteer to work or plan events for the organization or request to join or work with their Board of Directors. You’ll get to work hands-on with the organization and get a feel for what their needs are, and in turn, they’ll be able to see all that you have to offer them.”
Cliffe also recommends diversifying your outreach. ‘By doing more networking, it means you have more opportunities to meet well-connected, powerful business people in your community, which can lead to greater possibilities for your business. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
2. It adds to your brand’s credibility:
The power of working with nonprofits is no secret. According to a 2013 Cone Communications / Echo Global CSR Study, 91% of global consumers are likely to switch brands to one associated with a good cause, given comparable price and quality. And not only does this kind of marketing resonate with consumers that are already brand loyal, but according the 2006 Cone Millennial Cause Study, these kinds of initiatives play big with Millennials as they are more apt ‘to reward socially responsible companies; more likely to trust these companies, seek their employment and buy or recommend their products to others.’
By partnering with a nonprofit, you’re showing the consumer that your brand is socially conscience and cares about the community in which it exists. This credibility can make the difference between consumers grabbing your product off the shelf versus your competitor‘s.
3. It provides you the chance to showcase your strengths:
OK, so it’s not very becoming to brag, but a successful marketer knows that the benefits of successfully working with a nonprofit can make you look really good to the professionals that are associated with it. By showing off your strengths to others, it could lead them to call on you next time they need someone with your skillset. Are you a great email marketer? You may be called on to help create their newsletter. Are you hyper-organized? You may be in charge of putting on their next fundraiser.
For Cliffe, showcasing her strengths has meant sitting on various boards over the years, helping them connect with business and corporate America as a funding resource. The result? Organizations like Children’s Miracle Network partnering with Cliffedge Marketing to host their “Chipping in for Children” charity golf program across the country, which has helped to raise over $908,000 for the organization in 5 years.
By working with a nonprofit, you open yourself (and your business) up to new opportunities and satisfy that ‘feel-good’ feeling that only comes from offering yourself to benefit the greater good. If you’d like to see how Cliffedge can connect your business with a great nonprofit via a Cause Marketing program, give Sherri Cliffe a call at (314) 452-3036.