New Target for Charities: Small Businesses

BY Rachel Cagle
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Are your clients positioning themselves as businesses that support charities? If the answer is no, they're the perfect new target for charities. 

Why the New Target for Charities is Small Businesses

Because small businesses are missing an opportunity to gain new business and solidify continuous business from existing customers who care about social responsibility, they are the ideal new target for charities. According to a study by Clutch, laid out by Toby Cox, more than half of consumers like businesses that support charities. However, Cox writes, “If a company doesn’t consider its brand values or its audience’s values when committing to a social cause, they risk indifferent or negative reactions from their audience.”

Social Responsibility Example

New targets for charities also include restaurants. Clutch found that 62% of U.S. consumers believe restaurants should commit to corporate responsibility. In particular, restaurants should show how they are feeding the local community (71%), supporting local farmers (60%), recycling (58%) and selling non-​GMO foods (41%). Restaurants can easily work these values and the company’s related efforts into their advertising campaigns. According to AudienceSCAN, within the last year, Cause Marketing Responders have taken action because of TV commercials (66.8%), direct mail ads (63.2%) and sponsored search results (55.4%).

Successful Alignment With Businesses that Support Charities

Consumers are more aware of how their buying decisions can impact the world around them and expect companies to be socially responsible,” says Cox. At the end of the day, a business’ ability to take social stances and support charities is based on their earnings. If your clients’ efforts don’t align with their customers’ viewpoints, they won’t generate more income. However, if the stance your clients take doesn’t easily align with their business and values, customers will realize the stance is just a tool to make more money. So, when deciding on being a new target for charities, small businesses need to identify which charities would best connect with their mission statement.

So, are there charities that align with your clients’ stated mission? Are there social stances your clients can take that make sense based on their product and service offerings? Work with them to find unique opportunities in the marketplace. They may be able to work with a specific charity that is willing to appear in their ad campaigns. In some cases, a connection between a need in the local community and your client makes a difference. For example, sponsoring a blood drive after a local disaster will position your client favorably, especially if they also make a donation to the nonprofit organization that's collecting the blood. In other cases, if your clients can show a strong correlation between their mission and the charity's goals, their efforts will appear genuine to customers instead of coming off as a half-​baked PR opportunity.

Which businesses can really stand to make a splash by championing their commitment to social responsibility? Head to any of the 12 cause or charity profiles detailed in AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel to find out which types of cause supporters are shopping where and what advertising media they’re most receptive to.