What differentiates your business from the pack? What communicates your business’s heart and soul? What can unite employees, connect with customers and help your community? Consider philanthropy as a business tool! We call it “Do Good and Have Fun!”
For the last 16 years, I have dedicated my life to uniting amazing women from all walks of life to help others. Our Denver Colorado CampExperience™ Network has raised over $1 million in cash and in-kind support for 50+ charities in Colorado and around the world.
We gather women for both online and in-person events, promotions and campaigns, and each year we choose charity partners to receive the Network’s donations. Over the 16 years we are partnered with large organizations like our Mile High United Way in Denver and small organizations like the Sock It To Em Sock Campaign. Each time we look for a specific project or group we can make a difference for and engage our volunteers.
There are so many examples of Doing Good and Having Fun. One of my favorites was 1000 Acts of Peace in September of 2019. We gathered donations of more than 20,000 items of shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, floss, tooth paste, combs, sanitized wipes, Kleenex, a bottle of water and a Luna bar. Then 130 ladies assembled 1000 knapsacks in 2 hours, loaded onto busses and delivered the donations to the Mayor of Colorado Springs, Colorado, to gift to agencies that served people experiencing homelessness.
The process of partnering has elevated the stature of our organization, attracted new members and kept the loyalty of current members. Our focus on helping others rates high in surveys about organization interest and market reputation. We have developed a style of “sisterhood by choice” in that we treat each other as family and treat others as our own. Our community involvement generates positive energy, publicity and more opportunities for our members and sponsors. This experience has proven the following three tips for your organization’s community success.
Match Your Mission to Your Mate
A great way to choose a community partner is to match the passions and purpose of your organization with a like-hearted “mate.”
Like dating, try some conversations with potential community partners and find a match. You might start with your stakeholders to see where they are involved and what type of experiences are working. There may be timely issues in your community or you may need to serve multiple markets across a country or a region.
- Leadership stability and fiscal responsibility.
- Check some references to ensure a top reputation.
- What are the deliverable goods and/or services and who specifically is served? How is the “good” measured?
- What are the needs and specific opportunities to involve staff or customers? For example, our volunteers gathered new socks for men, women and children and the socks stayed in each market to help local groups.
Choose A Scale That Makes Success Easy
My mom always asked,”Did you bite off more than you can chew?” Even as I kid I wanted to do it all, save it all and take every opportunity for the FUN of getting involved. I have discovered (the over committed and tired way) that with community involvement (and life) you can choose the “scale” of involvement. This means when you discover the magic of a cause that matches your interest, develop a “menu” of ideas both large and small. This scales serves you in many ways:
- The menu of specific needs and tasks can fit the multiple interests of your employees and customers. Include the time, level of commitment, location and what to expect when serving.
- When you start and complete an exact task, the small success starts positive momentum. When you get even small “wins,” you start to stack up the good deeds and start the reputation of the project to be viable and FUN!
- The process of developing the menu can unlock more creativity and is great for the process of developing a working partnership with your community
In a world running fast and working hard, take a minute for some thoughtful strategy. Consider philanthropy and some Do Good Have Fun for you and your team!
Just Do It … Go, Review and Repeat!
After creating the perfect partnership and developing your action plan just do it! Take action and begin. The magic of the Do Good is the Have Fun!
In hundreds of projects, we find that the journey of helping others is even better than the destination of any goal. Goals can always move and change. The journey is the juicy relationship-building process. The activities connect hearts and minds. The positive impact generates possibility thinking and a fresh outlook. And these relationships and shifted perspectives contribute not only in the community but back in the organization.
Author: Betsy Wiersma, Wiersma Experience Marketing