If you’ve ever wondered whether or not supporting a nonprofit organization was a good idea, the answer is yes for many reasons. Not only does it make sense to support nonprofits with a cause you believe in, but it can be good for your business, too.
Some nonprofits are making a huge difference
The most important reason to contribute to nonprofit organizations is because they are doing work you want to support. It doesn’t matter what they do, as long as you align with their core message and purpose. For example, maybe you care about the ocean and want to support the Sea Shepherds, or you really like the idea of preserving the rainforest and want to support the Rainforest Alliance. It doesn’t matter what you support if you find it important.
When you find a nonprofit you want to support, it can help to get your business involved and make it known that you are donating money, time, or resources to the organization. If you start by supporting an organization you align with, it will be much easier to integrate your efforts into your business rather than trying to find someone to support based on what you think will make you look good. The latter is inauthentic and people will notice. If you do it this way, your plan could backfire.
It’s okay to support controversial organizations
Many businesses support controversial nonprofits without any problems. Consider it part of your marketing strategy. In marketing, you want to alienate groups of people to speak more specifically to your target market. Trying to appeal to everyone is a bad strategy.
When you support a controversial nonprofit, you will essentially alienate a segment of people who don’t align with those values, but on the other end, you will gain a loyal following. It’s in that loyal segment that you’ll find your best and most passionate brand ambassadors along with repeat customers and people who just rave about your business.
For example, say you’re passionate about supporting police and you decide to donate a portion of your profits to the National Police Association. That’s a controversial move considering all the current anti-police rhetoric making the rounds in the news and across social media channels, like YouTube and Facebook. However, survey data supports this as a smart move.
According to Qualtrics data published in Forbes Magazine, people are 8.1% more likely to buy from a company that voices their opinions and are 8.4% less likely to buy from a company that stays silent. Consumers want to know where companies stand on important social issues because they don’t want to support anyone they don’t align with, no matter how great the products are.
The same article states that Global Strategy Group research shows that 56% of Americans think corporations should speak about controversial issues. People want to know where you stand, and if you’re silent, they might take that as a sign that “if you’re not with us, you’re against us.” Silence could drive business to your competitors.
Supporting nonprofits shows you care about more than profits
Another good reason to support nonprofits is to show that you care about more than just your own business profits. When you donate a set percentage of your profits to an organization, you’re showing your customers that their money is not just going into your pocket. Although there’s nothing wrong with profiting from your own business, your market will perceive you better when you are a little less self-oriented and expand your care and awareness outward to selflessly help others.
You don’t have to donate money to be supportive
Finally, you don’t need to give a portion of your profits to an organization to support them. You can offer your time, resources, or even connections. For example, you might want to get your whole team involved in Relay For Life, which aims to raise money for cancer research. As your team walks the track, they’ll be earning money from their sponsors for the organization and you don’t need to donate any money directly.
Another excellent way of supporting an organization is by donating your time. For example, some of your team members might want to volunteer at a homeless shelter to cook meals. In some ways, volunteering your time is better because it’s harder to give your time than write a check and never get involved.
Show your customers who you support
Don’t be afraid to take a stand for the social or political causes you align with. Showing your customers which organizations you support will provide mutual benefit. Your customers will feel stronger loyalty, which translates to more sales for your company.