Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Connect with a Nonprofit for a Win-Win

Businesses that support a cause can gain exposure and boost their revenue while making a difference. Eastside Cafe, a small neighborhood restaurant with a heart, knows that supporting nonprofits is not only good for the community, it's good for business and employee morale. The restaurant recently raffled off donated art to raise funds for Haitian orphans. Past fundraisers have benefited a local hospice home and the community's animal shelter.

Interested in doing something similar? Here are tips:
  • Select a cause that resonates with you and your life experiences, that has a relevant connection to your business, is important to your employees, or is favored by your customers. If there's no logical connection to the business, its employees, or your customers, you'll have a harder time maintaining enthusiasm and support.
  • Start with a small project or activity so that you aren't overwhelmed.
  • Use as many communications vehicles as possible to generate interest and support -- your Web site, customer newsletter, Facebook fan page, Twitter, press releases, and so on.
  • Involve employees in the planning. They'll be more committed to the activity -- whatever it is -- if they feel some sense of ownership.
  • Announce the outcome. Did you raise money? Collect donated merchandise? Recruit volunteers? Give us closure by telling us about your success.
Connect with your community, as Eastside Cafe does, and do well while doing good.

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