Bridging the Worlds PO Box 9109 Santa Fe, NM 87504 Phone: 505-501-1887
BMI's Quick Guide to Philanthropy
How to Partner with a Charity To Increase Your Profits While Contributing to a Good Cause
This educational piece has been created as a public service through a joint venture between Bridging the Worlds (a 501(c)(3) non profit public benefit organization) and the Bootstrap Marketing Institute, to help you, as a business owner, to learn how to work with a charitable organization to:
• Increase your profits and prosperity while contributing to the cause of your choice. • Make meaningful and lasting impact on this world we share. • Not be left with a feeling of burden, guilt, or dissatisfaction.
True philanthropy should leave you with a sense of having made the right choice, and been REWARDED for doing the right thing. It should feel like the right use of your hard earned resources. Charitable giving should never leave you feeling a hole in your pocket where the money used to be.
Most business owners are not aware that charitable giving, and philanthropy can be PROFITABLE. That means that the giving can cause more money to flow into your life than the amount that youíve given. Giving, when done properly, returns MORE money to you than you had before contributing.
In this guide weíll show you: • How you can increase your business and get rewarded for acts of giving if you own a business.
A properly developed philanthropic program can put money into your bank account because itís designed that way. Your increased income can offset or exceed your contribution.
That may sound like a bold, ridiculous, and unrealistic statement, but weíre going to show you that itís true, and weíre going to show you how. Once you see the simplicity of it, youíll wonder why you didnít think of it before.
You can do good, you can contribute to worthy causes, and your contribution can simultaneously bring more into your life than you had before.
Businesses have numerous options for what they can contribute.
• Cash • Percentage of profits from special events • Percentage of profits from philanthropic systems • Discounts on goods and services • Credit on goods and services • Gift of goods and services • Gifts to be sold for fund raising • Coupons and discounts to be given as gifts and incentives at fund raising events • Sponsorship of educational materials • Sponsorship of fund raising events • Solicitation of donation from your clientele and mailing lists • Testimonials and referrals to the charity in your newsletter • Charitable Remainder Trusts
These are all opportunities for you to make money. Read the following to understand some of the ways that this is possible.
Benefit #1: All of these methods build good will with your clientele in your community.
When you support a charity you can get free publicity and press releases. Compare this to paying for advertising. You have probably paid a lot of money for advertising that didnít even work. Yet publicity is free, and you may get 10-100 times the response and value out of it. Youíre far more likely to get free publicity for sponsoring a charity than for just trying to sell your own business. So thatís benefit number 1.
But thereís lots more.
Benefit #2: The charity itself will market for you.
You can get links on their web site - your business being endorsed by a good cause. You can put inserts into their newsletter - your business being endorsed by direct mail and email. (Thatís welcome email and mail that people have requested, not SPAM) You can post signs as their sponsor at fund raisers and large public events. This is all free advertising that reaches a targeted audience.
Benefit #3: Creating additional income streams.
Hereís the heart of a philanthropic system:
A proper philanthropic system will bring you business you wouldnít have gotten otherwise. You can donate from this new and added cash stream, without burdening your existing cash stream at all.
Letís look at a several levels of whatís possible, using a coupon as an example. This is one of the simplest of many available strategies. This can apply to any business, but letís use a restaurant to make a clear example. Coupons are cheap and easy to produce. Many restaurants use them all the time. They often print and send them out in mass, which is expensive, and has a low rate of return. The coupon may be for a free meal, a discount off a meal, a two for one, a free appetizer, a free dessert, a free fountain drink, whatever. The idea is, if someone uses a coupon, itís someone who may not have come in to eat otherwise. But once you get them in the door and Wow them with your food, theyíll come back. Letís take this same idea and give it more efficiency and power.
Consider the expense printing 1000 coupons: • Printing • Mailing • Distribution or advertising cost in a coupon magazine • Advertising cost for putting them in newspapers and event calendars
This can be a considerable up front expense. Several hundred to a thousand dollars. And you really have no idea if it will work, or how well it will work.
Instead of doing it this tired and inefficient way, print 10 of them. Not glossy, not fancy, just nice. Lay them out and print them straight from your computer. Get your office assistant to do it during spare time if you have one. It may take 20 minutes of your time and a miniscule printing expense with no turn around time. You can correct errors immediately and easily without trashing a big stack of pre-printed stuff. You can easily change them any time you want. This will probably cost you less than a dollar.
Also, on the coupon print:
ďproud sponsor of _______________(charity of your choice). 5% of proceeds will go to (charity) when you visit us and redeem this coupon.Ē
(if the numbers donít work at 5%, donate 3%, or 1%. You arenít stuck with a standard figure. Create one that makes good business sense. Every little bit helps.)
Now give the coupons to the charity to be used in fund raising. Those 10 coupons will be given directly to 10 people as reward for some contribution they make, and it is highly likely that most of the 10 will come to you to use their ďprizeĒ, especially when they see they can benefit their favorite charity again, AND get a reward for doing so.
The coupon could be for a free dinner, but doesnít have to be. It could be a 10% discount, or a free dessert, or a free fountain drink, etc. Now youíve got them in the door. They may buy appetizers, drinks, etc. And if you have a good restaurant (which of course you do) they may come back.
Thatís income in your pocket for less than $1 in marketing. If it doesnít work, itís one of the cheapest mistakes youíve ever made. If it does work, itís one of the cheapest and most effective ads youíve ever run. Win/Win. Thatís additional income you never would have had otherwise. In this case, the only thing you donated to the charity is the coupon. They used the coupon to solicit donations from other people. And if the people come in to redeem the coupon, youíre donating from a cash stream that the charity itself helped you to create.
But thereís more.
What if you donít pre-print anything, but have a template on the internet, or stored in the charityís computer. Every time the charity gets a donor of a certain level, they email a coupon to the donor as a free gift. NO COST, NO EFFORT to you whatsoever. Youíve just agreed to take new customers any time the charity sends them. You donít even spend that $1 to make the coupons. Some people will redeem the coupons, and some wonít. What do you care? Itís all free money, just for associating in a beneficial way with a charity.
Letís take it even one step further - follow up marketing. If you sponsor a charity, they can feature you in their monthly newsletter, and on their web site. Reach out and create good will. Create a special offer to all supporters of this charity, and again, contribute 5% of proceeds. This can be incredibly effective. Donít just trust the customers to come back. Remind them. Let the charity help you to remind them.
If you are a consistent supporter, the charity will not charge you for this advertising. Theyíll provide referrals because it benefits their cause to do so.
How about a link to your web site. from the charity web site.? Whenever a customer connects to you through the web site. the charity gets a share. You give when you get. People who bought from you because of their interest in the charity would probably not have come to you otherwise. Itís another cash stream.
When a charity helps you to develop new cash streams, give them as much as 50% of the net if you want. Donate as much as you want from that new cash stream. We recommend between 10% and 50% of the net, and you can follow your heart to determine whatís best for you. Remember, this is extra money you would never have gotten otherwise. Someone else is doing the marketing for you. Itís free money to you. You can be very generous with this method and foster a lot of good will. Again, no marketing costs. What you save is added to your net profits.
When you donate something at cost, it doesnít cost you anything. Your cost gets covered. But the charity can use it to benefit the mission. This builds enormous good will in the community. Do a press release when you make such a major contribution.
Whenever you make a major contribution, do an award and recognition ceremony and invite clients and the press.
How about donation days once a month. The charity will tell all its donors that on a certain day youíre donating a portion of the proceeds for that day. The charity markets for you again. You figure out a cost effective amount to donate. You may be swamped with business that day. You can increase the profitability by running specials on that day. You can charge more for a special meal. Many people will order it if the waiters suggest it. Prepare a special dessert. Make your patrons aware of it at the beginning of the meal, so theyíre looking forward to it. Then have the waiter remind them when itís time for dessert.
We used the restaurant example throughout to stay consistent, but this can work for any type of business.
• Coupons • Discounts • At cost contributions • Web links • Donation days • Press releasesí • Referrals in newsletter and on web site.
Your business, whatever it is, can use any of these methods and more. The methods mentioned so far cost little or nothing. Think about the power of this.
When you have a good relationship with a charitable organization that understands this process you become partners, and help each other in numerous ways. You increase results while decreasing effort.
We can offer you one more thing. If you are ready to partner with a charity who will help you to implement these systems to increase your income while increasing donations to a good cause contact our Secretary/Treasurer David Lindemuth (email@example.com).
We have numerous creative ideas and implementation systems that can have you making more money very quickly, even instantly. It works to your benefit, it works to our benefit. Everyone wins.
For further information on easy to implement, low cost ways to increase your business and income, click on the links below.