Below is part 2 of our Co-Founder Danny’s Lunch and Learn Masterclass with Enterprise Nation, on the topic of ‘Cause Marketing’.
1/6: I give away my product to charity when I sell it (buy one, give one). Am I eligible for Work for Good?
That’s a fabulous model, it’s very analogous to Work for Good but slightly different, as our mission is to raise funds for charity (because that’s what they need the most). The model we have is around making a cash pledge linked to sales of goods and services.
As well as charities needing cash, giving goods or services pro bono may not be something a charity needs. Instead, being able to pledge 1, 5 or 10% of sales is a simple, clean and transparent way of doing something that does fit within your business.
Or of course, you can do both!
2/6: If I have a specific charity that I want to donate to but they are not on your platform, how do I get them involved?
You can nominate a charity and we will reach out to them.
Depending on how quickly the charity responds, we may be able to sign them up and complete our due diligence within a day. Some charities may take longer, because of their own internal processes.
We’re pretty well established in the charity world and have many of the top brands on board already.
3/6: Can I change the cause I support? I’d like to pledge to an environmental charity in future but for now, I’d like to donate to a food related cause, linked to corona.
Work for Good is incredibly flexible so can change your choice of charity with each pledge.
One of our members is a garage who donate for every MOT they carry out and they choose a different charity every month. It takes them less than 5 minutes to settle up the previous month’s pledge and to choose a new charity/set up a new campaign for the next month.
4/6: How do I mitigate the risk of Cause Marketing being dismissed as ‘green wash’ and what about reconciling the ethics of associating the suffering of others as a means to build my own brand?
The important thing is how you do it. The advice we tend to give is: ‘Don’t be British and don’t be shy about this’. If you’re going to give cash away to cause, it’s got to be sustainable and good for business, otherwise it will be hard to keep consistently donating throughout the tougher times.
In order for it to be good for business, not wanting to talk about your charitable giving would be a bit of an own goal. Talking with pride and authenticity gets the message out there. It will engage your stakeholders, it will be good for business and it will make you feel good.
Importantly, it will also be good for the charities you’re supporting because it creates awareness for them and hopefully, it will inspire lots of other small business owners to follow you, so there’s a real multiplier effect on telling your giving story.
The key is to tell the story in a way that explains your value set because, if you make it sound as though it’s all about the sales, people will see through that. Here’s an example from one of our members’ business cards:
“We love creating toys that put a smile on the face of kids and of course, it’s our business so we welcome profit too. However, for those kids who are not as fortunate, it’s just as important for us to put a smile on their faces too, by helping them get out of poverty through education. So, for every X sold, we’re making a donation of Y, to hopefully make a big difference.”
If you donate through Work for Good with authenticity, tell the story clearly and explain your value set as to why you do it, then there may be some people out there who will be cynical but for the majority, this kind of messaging will resonate.
5/6: How do I share this activity with my customers and make sure it looks genuine to my audience?
Your marketing channels are the obvious place to tell the story: through your packaging, websites and social channels etc.
I don’t see a conflict with something being good for business and good for cause. If you get the messaging right, people are more likely to think: ‘I’ll buy this, because I know that at the same time of buying an item that I require, I am doing good.’ The evidence suggests that people want to work for and buy from companies that are doing good so linking this in a way that is transparent, accountable and direct, works.
Do you think Cause Marketing helps with PR strategy?
A: Yes! It’s all about having a social narrative within your brand and then promoting it in smart ways. Customers want business to be about more than profit and businesses want to have that social give back, irrespective of whether it has any marketing benefit or improves the sales of the company.
You can watch the full masterclass here. A huge thanks to Enterprise Nation for inviting us to take part.