When it comes to new and unique promotions for your company, it’s sometimes difficult to generate ideas that won’t make you yawn with boredom. You’ve done coupons

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When it comes to new and unique promotions for your company, it’s sometimes difficult to generate ideas that won’t make you yawn with boredom. You’ve done coupons, you’ve done free gifts with purchase, and heck, you’ve even celebrated ‘National Golf Month’ with golf-themed giveaways. What’s left?

How about a little cause marketing to boost not only your employees’ morale, but to help out your community at the same time? You’ve probably read that major companies use this style of marketing at some point. And why not? Everyone comes out a winner from it! It deserves to be considered for your next promotion.

Find a cause you can get behind.

The cause you choose doesn’t have to be directly related to your company’s industry. If you’re a car dealership, don’t assume that the only cause you can fight for is collecting and recycling old tires. Sure, it’s a great idea, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it. Be as creative as you’d like. If you’re stuck for ideas, ask your employees if they volunteer with an organization or know of a good one.

As long as you agree with the organization’s mission, then there’s no wrong answer to the question of which cause to raise money for. Raise money for an animal shelter and then go and volunteer at it for the day (my company did this last year, and it was a huge success). Or, pick a park in your community that needs a little TLC and bring along your employees and their families to help fix it up. The more people you can get involved, whether by having them donate their time or money, the more publicity it may receive and the more good you can do!

Get out there and raise awareness.

Whether you hop on your Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ accounts and get people’s attention that way, or put an ad in the local newspaper, just make sure your efforts are known. Adequate advertising will ensure that enough funds can be raised, enough volunteers can be found, and enough publicity can be raised.

It may be difficult to put your brand second, but you should put the cause and your community as your first priorities. Don’t worry, people won’t forget the generosity of your company’s efforts when the event is all done.

Plan, plan, plan, and then plan some more.

If you’re working directly with a non-profit organization, then make sure you keep them in the loop on your progress. No doubt you’re excited to get your company’s name out there and help them out, but be prepared for anything that may happen. For example, what will you do if it rains during an outdoor event you’re hosting (like a fun run or a concert)? If you’re going to a public park, are there any rules that apply to you? How will your volunteers know their jobs; will you assign them days before the event, or on the day of? There’s nothing worse than witnessing an unorganized event. Come prepared for anything that may fly in from left field!

Put in everything you’ve got.

When the day of the event arrives, don’t stress out. Take a deep breath and get ready for organized chaos. Everything may not go exactly according to plan, but that won’t make it a failure. Stay calm and do your best! While you’re running around, don’t forget to take a step back and remember why you’re really there. You’re helping out this wonderful cause that can continue their mission because of your generosity. Getting bogged down with details and chaos will happen, but try to enjoy your efforts at some point during the day.

Take a bow.

After all the planning and executing of your plans, smile and look around at the accomplished efforts from you and your volunteers. You not only helped out a worthy cause, but you also increased employee morale and got your company’s name out there to customers who may have never known you existed before. If you didn’t raise as much money as you were hoping for, don’t give yourself an ulcer over it. Remember, you raised money for the organization that they didn’t have before, so it’s already a success. At next year’s event, try to double your total!

Cause marketing is one of those wonderful things where everyone comes out ahead and a winner. The organization you’re raising funds or awareness for doesn’t have to put in additional man power to accomplish everything that your company can help them with. And your brand will be seen by so many new potential customers! What have you got to lose? Give cause marketing a try for your next promotion.

Amy Swanson

Amy Swanson is a part of the marketing/content department at Quality Logo Products and regularly contributes to their promotional products blog. She is a self-professed newspaper nerd, business buff, and TV enthusiast who cites 'Parks and Recreation' as one of her favorites. But don’t ask her to put in a good word with Ron Swanson – she unfortunately can’t help you there.