Fund-raising and brand awareness – the basics

Fundraising is a fun and excellent way to invest some of your success back into the community that supports you. Company giving is also a superb approach to growing your business and raising its profile through partnerships, sponsorship, donations, and employee fundraising initiatives. Employee-driven efforts are often great motivation and team-building exercises for staff, too.

Find out if employees are already fundraising
Many individuals undertake fund-raising in a personal capacity anyway; pulling all their efforts together under the company’s banner encourages group effort, a little healthy competition, and a sense of support – especially if the company agrees to match whatever funds are raised with a donation of its own.

Whether there’s a group of employees organising one group event – like a marathon, sponsored swim or casual dress day – or several individual sponsored activities going on amongst the workforce (usually things that aren’t so universally accessible, like climbing Everest or driving across deserts) – make sure that plenty of noise is made about all activities within the organisation, and give visible company support wherever possible. Offer incentives, like a prize for whoever gets the most sponsors or raises the most money.

Start the ball rolling
Nobody fundraising already? It’s time to get things going. CEOs announcing their personal fundraising efforts can inspire others to do the same, whilst also winning kudos from employees! If the organisation is large enough to have a CSR department, make sure they’re looking into employee fundraising as well as corporate donations. If not, ask staff to come up with ideas – including charities and causes they’d like to support, along with thoughts about how to raise the cash.

Some ideas
Anything that involves endurance (marathons, hill-walking, abseiling), discipline (losing weight, gaining muscle, growing moustaches), or silliness (fancy dress, or talent contests – these can be on YouTube rather than on stage, if necessary) tend to work well as sponsored activities. Alternatively, organise events and contests, charge a nominal fee for participation, and donate the proceeds to the chosen charity or community initiative.

Spreading the word
The company’s intranet, noticeboards, posters in the corridors, flyers handed out with every lunch in the canteen, updates on the company’s Facebook page – these are just a few places to start. Create text codes and QR codes to enable instant giving and access to further information. You can even use email signatures to spread the word. Get in touch with the charity that will receive the funds raised, too, and participate with them at every opportunity.

Sponsorship and partnerships
Sponsoring charity events or partnering with charities in the long term are excellent ways to raise a company’s profile. Smaller companies can think about local schools and community initiatives, too. The key thing to consider with sponsorship deals is relevancy. A golf equipment company might provide balls and clubs for a sponsored golf drive for any charity, but a brewery or tobacco company may be more limited regarding which charities will want to partner with them.

This helpful business advice was provided by Carly Morson.

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