Commitment to a social cause isn’t just for nonprofits. Organizations with a defined social mission can enhance their reputation, promote brand awareness and build strong, mutually beneficial partnerships. But did you know organizations can also increase their bottom line by practicing social responsibility in business? Ninety-one percent of consumers say they’re likely to switch to a brand associated with a good cause if price and quality are the same. And one in two is willing to pay more for products or services from companies that give back. As you can see, the benefits of corporate social responsibility can make a big impact inside and outside of your organization.
Olivia Khalili, director of Yahoo for Good at Yahoo® and Cause Capitalism, says “doing good is a business strategy, not merely a moral argument or trend.” For more on doing good through social missions as well as finding and implementing one that fits with your brand, keep reading.
Become a socially responsible business with a cause
When looking for a social cause that aligns with your brand, experts recommend choosing one that fits your business and its brand—not what looks good at the time. Steering clear of controversy, politics and causes that are too narrow in focus is also good practice. Here are several social missions that may fit your business:
- Environment: Is your business an environmentally conscious one? Are recycled, recyclable, biodegradable or eco-friendly materials used in your products and packaging? And do you prefer to do business with other ecologically sound companies?
- Community: Does your company frequently support community events through sponsorships and donations? Are its employees active in the community? Do staffers volunteer, serve on boards and committees, or participate in community service projects?
- Advocacy: Is your business an advocate, either directly or indirectly? Companies owned by women, minorities or veterans may tie in nicely with an advocacy group they can relate to.
Once you define your organization’s social mission, you can begin promoting its socially responsible business practices. Hold a community night where a percentage of sales goes to charity. Organize an employee service project. Host a fundraiser. Sponsor an event. The sky’s the limit! But let patrons know how you’re giving back.
Customers want to know that when they support your business they are also supporting your social mission. Display your cause on your website, in news releases, in emails, on packaging and more. When promoting a special fundraiser or event, display banners and signs, and provide employees with T-Shirts and buttons that promote your cause and act as conversation starters. Give shoppers a branded, reusable tote imprinted with all the things you do to be a socially responsible business. Include information on dollars and hours donated, special projects and more.
Doing good feels good—and it is also good for business. Jayson DeMers, founder and CEO of content marketing firm AudienceBloom, says having a social mission is not only empowering, it shows “your business’ level of commitment to your community, your environment and the general ‘greater good.’” What will your business do to share the love?