Philanthropic Marketing

Business is also caring about others 

What Is Philanthropic Marketing?

You have probably seen employees wearing pink colours shirts at certain companies to support a cause.

It could be AIDS, breast cancer research, or support to educational organizations. These are all forms of philanthropic marketing, also known as cause-related marketing.

Philanthropic Marketing is defined as the active and strategic use of marketing, public relations, and partnerships with charitable organizations to support not-for-profit causes to drive bottom-line value and positive long-term brand impressions.

It is a marketing strategy initiated by a business or company to promote the welfare of others, whether through charitable contributions or time. Essentially, the aim is to raise awareness with marketing efforts while doing good.

However, corporate philanthropy programs should not be limited to that. For better corporate governance and a better society, the programs should create a positive outcome for the community at large.

Just using your company's name for a philanthropic cause without caring about the issue at hand can have repercussions in the long term because customers' might boycott your organization if you change or stop supporting the cause in the future.

Likewise, your philanthropic efforts can also be a good marketing strategy for your brand if used carefully and with the right intentions.

Importance Of Corporate Philanthropic Marketing

Help The Community

One of the most effective ways to foster mutual understanding, growth, and appreciation among individuals is by supporting the community, often through a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program. CSR initiatives present businesses with an excellent opportunity to promote their ideas, brands, and products while engaging with the community.

Corporate giving programs enable companies to address pressing needs within communities and collaborate with non-profit organizations to support local causes that benefit from charitable donations. In addition to financial contributions, businesses can leverage their reputation by leading fundraising campaigns for worthy causes, demonstrating their commitment to social responsibility.

Give More Than Money

While a financial contribution certainly makes a difference(and, of course, you should not hold it back if you feel it's necessary). You can do other things that will make a more considerable difference from a marketing perspective.

You can organize a clean-up event, a nutrition program, free services, charity events, or homeless shelter support activities.

Giving your time, energy, creativity, and commitment make it seem more genuine in the eyes of others.

Strategic Use of Social Media

Social media plays a huge role in everyone's life these days. Most of our decisions are based on what the internet and media tell us to do.

They are also one of the most powerful resources you can use to strategically leverage your philanthropy programs and connect your organization with your audience through your marketing campaigns.

If you appropriately use social media, your investment will pay off in both the short and long terms. But do not disseminate all the information at once; engage your audience by asking them for feedback and ideas.

Involve them as much as possible in the decision-making process of your upcoming philanthropic activities to make them feel that their opinion and voice matter to the organization.

In this way, you will create a long-term positive relationship between your audience and your company.

Involve Your Employees

When you involve your employees in your company's philanthropic efforts, you can increase their engagement and morale. Employees are more likely to stay with a company that supports charitable causes they care about.

Also, the spirit of teamwork carries over into the workplace, strengthening bonds between employees because they feel they are making an immense contribution to the community and playing a role in something much bigger than themselves.

Employees can take pride in that their company is not just about making profits but also about making a difference in the community.

When they share the company's philanthropic activities on their social media accounts, talk to their friends and families, or even contribute financially or in other ways, they are vouching for the authenticity of the company's efforts.

Therefore you should never underestimate the importance and power of charitable efforts.

Example of Philanthropic Marketing Activities

Starbucks: reward yourself with a cup of Starbucks coffee while supporting the Starbucks Campaign for Education.

Starbucks's College Achievement Program, launched in 2018 and is still running, aims to bring attention to college affordability.

This initiative is in partnership with Arizona State University and offers Starbucks employees who are eligible the opportunity to attend college tuition-free.

Eligible employees can choose from 80 undergraduate degree programs that suit them.

So whenever you need a caffeine boost, fill up at Starbucks because for every penny you pay, someone can realize their college dream.

The Body Shop: Time to Care - the pandemic has taught us how to care in its purest and most profound meaning.

In 2020, The Body Shop wanted to thank healthcare workers for their dedication. So the company decided to launch a campaign called "Time to Care."

An initiative that promotes health, wellness, and kindness. The company has partnered with homes and assisted living communities to donate cleaning supplies, such as soap and hand soap.

The company aims to promote self-care and make the experience accessible to all.

The Body Shop has donated over $4 million worth of its products around the world.

Care packages with shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel support healthcare workers, volunteers, and people needing assisted living.

The brand uses its global presence and product offerings to make a difference.

Dove: in 2013, Dove's most famous commercial, titled" Dove Real Beauty Sketches, was aired, dealing with the gap between how others perceive you and how you perceive yourself.

Each woman is the subject of two portraits drawn by FBI-trained forensic Gil Zamora: one based on her description, the other on a stranger's observation.

The commercial ends with the words " You are more beautiful than you think," followed by the Dove logo.

Dove wants to convey that women are recognized for their true beauty and promote women's empowerment, but at the same time, try to promote its product without showing or directly referencing the product itself.

Kraft Heinz - In 2013, Kraft Heinz partnered with the nonprofit organization, Rise Against Hunger and launched a digital fundraising campaign called " Huddle to Fight Hunger. "

Every time someone liked Kraft Heinz's Facebook page, the company donated a meal to a food bank.

This campaign combined philanthropy with social marketing and brand awareness.

Based on the success of their first campaign, they decided to make it an ongoing partnership.

The strategy not only increased the company's profit but also made a significant impact on the community at the same time.

Bottom Line

Businesses contribute to their communities by addressing pressing issues using monetary or non-monetary resources, simultaneously bolstering their reputation. Ideally, this should create a win-win situation, where the input corresponds to the outcome in terms of impact.

Although some companies may employ cause-related marketing for self-serving purposes, all corporate philanthropy programs should ultimately benefit people in some capacity. Corporate support is vital in our society, as charitable giving aids those in need and promotes overall well-being.

Local businesses that support their communities by providing employment opportunities contribute to an improved quality of life for the people in the areas where they operate.

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