Helping others should be a natural add-on to what your company believes in and what you already do. While participating in relief projects and charity can improve your company image and your brand recognition, that is never the reason you should take on charitable endeavors. The main reason you should take on relief projects is to give back to society. Create a feeling of goodwill in your company as your employees participate alongside you.
There are many different projects you can get involved with, so one of your first steps is to figure out what projects tie into your own goals as a company. If you deliver water filtration systems to companies around the country, then getting involved in a clean water project in a third world country will work well with your overall goals, for example.
Getting involved in relief projects helps your brand in five significant ways:
1. Improve Your Brand Image
One of the bonuses of doing good work is that it improves your image as a brand. It is important that you choose a charity that resonates with your core audience, however. What are the causes that your typical customer cares about? If you sell mainly to Millennials, the causes they care about may be vastly different than the causes a Baby Boomer cares about.
TOMS shoes markets to a younger crowd who cares deeply about the products they buy helping others. With that in mind, TOMS has an ongoing relief effort where they give back for every single pair of shoes purchased. TOMS’ customers know that every time they purchase a product, they are also helping someone in need.
2. Retain Top Employees
When employees work for a company that allows them also to have a positive impact on society, they are 74 percent more fulfilled and 87 percent less likely to resign. If you can attract and retain the best employees in your industry, you’ll be a step ahead of the competition.
Think about what relief projects the type of employee you wish to attract would be interested in being a part of. At times, this might include local relief projects, such as helping the homeless or helping after a natural disaster. However, other projects might be more global in nature.
3. Tap into What Matters Locally
Wherever your company is located, tapping into local needs is an important part of brand recognition. Your goal as a company should be to improve the lives of your employees and the people in your community. What value does your company add or can it add? If someone thinks about your brand name, do they immediately associate you with the area where you’re located?
MECO has offices in Houston, Texas, which was impacted greatly by Hurricane Harvey, including some of MECO’s own employees. One way they are helping show both the community and their employees that they care is by providing some relief for Houston after the hurricane. They joined with the Houston Food Bank and the Texas Diaper Bank to help families with some of their most immediate needs.
4. Teaming up with Influencers
If you want to have a bigger impact, team up with influencers in your area. In some cases, this might be a politician who cares about the cause you’ve adopted. Local celebrities and even online influencers can all play a part.
Even though you shouldn’t team up with influencers for extra exposure for your brand, there are times that exposure happens naturally. If it does, don’t feel guilty about the positive PR. You are doing your part in a number of ways to help make the world a better place. Any mention of your brand is likely just good karma headed your way.
5. Achieving Something Good Together
Some companies allow their employees to decide how to use charitable time and simply open up a block of time each month or week for their employees to work on individual charitable endeavors. This is a good idea, and if you can get people to team up and work on a variety of projects, so much better.
The ability to team up with co-workers to help other people is satisfying and provides a sense of teamwork that you don’t get from a workshop or exercise. Seeing people’s lives improved because of an effort they put forth by working on a project together is something most employees never forget and can easily apply to their everyday lives.
Shoes seem to have an edge over other industries when it comes to charitable work. Zappos even pays its employees for time spent doing volunteer work. In addition to the ability to take time off for causes, employees are most passionate about, Zappos also donates money to a variety of charitable organizations and relief efforts. They open up their business campus for community and charity events as well.
Getting Your Brand Involved in Relief Projects
Taking the initiative to find a relief project that speaks to the heart and soul of your brand isn’t always an easy task. It is arguably better to start somewhere and then build on your efforts than to do nothing at all.
Getting involved in relief projects is a positive for your brand. It shows that you care about more than just turning a profit. Whether you work together as a company toward a single cause or simply support your employees in their relief efforts, you can make a difference in the culture of your company and a difference in the world.