By Ann M. Hoscheit, OD
We’ve all been there…a patient asks you to sponsor the upcoming 5K and put your logo on the event t-shirt or place an ad in the yearbook or the homecoming program. Why do we say yes when we really want to say no?
What if we could say yes with a strategy that serves both the community and the practice? What if we could say yes knowing that we are actually implementing a strategic philosophy of business philanthropy? Yes, such a unicorn exists: It’s called “cause marketing”.
Cause marketing is when a for-profit business and a non-profit organization align for their mutual benefit. Some well-known examples include: Tom’s shoes (for every pair purchased, a pair goes to a needy child); Target (donates 5% of their profits back to the community); and Jet Blue’s campaign to provide children in low-income neighborhoods with free books. These strategic cause marketing partnerships are growing in numbers and in scope. In fact, cause marketing is expected to surpass the $2 billion mark in 2018. That’s a whole lot of alignment!
Research of companies engaged in cause marketing has identified key elements that bring value to the business. Doing good attracts people (both employees and patients) and it builds brand awareness and loyalty. It also boosts employee morale and may even provide an opportunity to broaden their skills sets, not to mention their lives.
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