As a business owner, it seems as though you`re participating in a never-ending juggling act as you navigate through a multitude of priorities. You care about your community, and recognize that in order for your business to be healthy and thriving, the community around you also needs to be healthy and thriving. You know the business benefits that come from doing your part; market position, employee attraction and retention, and greater profitability. To date, it’s just been easier to field the multiple calls, letters and emails from local non-profits looking for support than to spend the time determining which non-profit or area of impact you want to focus on.
Wait a minute. It’s easier to field the multiple calls, letters and emails, and then spend the time getting up to speed on each organization; the work they do, the people and partnerships involved, all for you to say yes or no, not once a week, but more than likely several times in one week? That’s a lot of work! For argument’s sake, let’s weigh the benefits of choosing one charity or area of focus:
- Time-saver. When you have a clear focus, it is much easier to say no to the organizations that are not a good fit. It also gives you the clarity to take advantage of great opportunities when you see them. Your research time will be reduced substantially. And as the partnership develops, you’ll find time-savings again, in that both parties will be clear in their roles and responsibilities, and have an understanding of what both are aiming to achieve.
- Greater impact. If you focus on one cause or one subject area, your efforts are more deliberate rather than fragmented, and you have an opportunity to create greater impact. In addition, you’ll have a greater understanding of how your investment is making a difference.
- True partnerships. When partnerships are built on a foundation of mutual respect, and both parties feel they are getting what they need, a win-win situation is created. This is the fuel of strong working relationships.
- Reciprocity. By becoming a strong advocate for the organization, you’re opening up the potential for them to reach more supporters. In turn, the non-profit organization becomes a strong advocate for your business, and helps you to attract more clientele.
- Differentiator. Whatever organization or cause you choose to support can play an important role in defining and/or enhancing your brand and market position.
Though it may take some time up front to determine what organization or cause is a good fit, there is no doubt that the benefits make the effort very worthwhile – and free up a lot of your time!
Sue Manzuik is a marketing specialist with Interior Savings. Passionate about corporate social responsibility and corporate citizenship, she is an advocate for strategic non-profit and for-profit partnerships that support healthy, sustainable communities. Follow her on Twitter: @SueManzuik