We all get hit up day after day to support this cause or that cause through donations or sponsorships. Maybe you care about the cause or maybe you don’t.
I bought cookies at a bake sale yesterday from some neighborhood girls selling them from a table in front of their house. I really didn’t care what the cause was. The sign said, “Homemade Baked Treats”. I’m a sucker for kids trying to make money and baked treats so it was a no-brainer. I gave them $20 for $9 worth of treats and enjoyed the smile on their little faces as I drove away.
As much as I was thrilled to help their cause, I would never entertain the thought of donating a gift card or raffle prize to them to “help them out” because, let’s face it, their audience is limited to the people driving down a residential street and they would likely never be my client. The point is, you can and should make donations that help market your business within your community but you need to put thought into your donations and contributions so you don’t do it simply to feel good but also to grow your business while making a positive impact.
If a group doing a fundraiser for a cancer related cause asked me to donate a $250 gift card for free limo service, I would do it in a heartbeat. I bet you know someone currently battling cancer today. You may have even lost someone to cancer. It is a cause that is near and dear to almost everyone. This means the audience is far, wide and vast. It’s a great cause to donate to. Chances are it is tax-deductible and the exposure of your name at such an event has a positive and caring impact on those exposed to your name. This is the type of community exposure that builds business.
Don’t expect that your phone will ring the day after event with orders. It probably won’t. However, when someone does an internet search for a limo company in your community and they see your company name, they will feel connected like they know you. They don’t know you. They know OF you. That is credibility and highly increases the likelihood of them calling your company first. Side note, don’t expect the person that won your donation to call and redeem it either. They were there to support a cause and statistics indicate that less than 30% of all donated gift cards are redeemed.