Monday, February 8, 2010

Tip 5 l Good Karma

by guest blogger, Shirley of ::Wild Blueberry Ink::

I have always had a need to comfort and help living things. I remember when I was growing up and participating in various youth groups the one event that always seemed to stay with me was when we would visit nursing homes and sing or deliver gifts. I was always amazed at how a little kindness could change someone’s entire day. As I grew older I became more and more involved and I continued to become more aware of those in need. In the past 10 years I have been very active in several charities and do my best to help them as often as I can, some I have chosen and some have chosen me.

For example about 11 years ago my grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Soon after she had a sister who was also diagnosed with BC and later they lost a brother to prostate cancer. As a result our family became very involved with the American Cancer Society and the fundraiser Relay for Life. We of course had a team but we needed something to help raise money for our team. My sister and I had started playing around with making jewelry so we put our head’s together and came up with this bracelet similar to this one:

This bracelet was available in all the various cancer ribbon colors and of course purple (Relay For Life Colors). Some had silver block letters with the words survivor, hope, or faith. We put together a kit for everyone on our team and sent them out to sell. We donated $7 from every bracelet sold to our team and cancer research. We soon found ourselves bombarded with orders not only for these bracelets but for money other types of jewelry. By the end of the summer we were selling jewelry via ebay, an online store, and lots of local stores. We continued this jewelry business for about 2 years and then we decided to open up our own boutique.

Why participate in a charity?
Not only is it a primary means for developing a powerful network but also it helps others in the process. People feel as if they are making a difference when they purchase products from businesses who are helping people. Also, charities will be willing to market for you or allow you to piggy back on their marketing because they know that they will benefit from your sales.

How can you maximize your charity association?
Linking your name with the charitable cause is an important part of charitable marketing. Even if you are participating in a charity for altruistic reasons, there’s no reason why you should not benefit from the resulting positive exposure. Here are some ideas to maximize your exposure:

1. Publicize your donations of goods or services to charities by sending press releases and photos to the local media.
2. Include your charitable involvement in your marketing materials such as newsletters, brochures, signs, displays, advertisements, and commercials.
3. Give away information about your charity as a part of your business transactions such as placing pamphlets in your retail outlets, having employees wear clothing or pins and buttons publicizing your charity, or placing charity information with your product when it ships.
4. Be sure to ask your charity to recognize your support in their publicity efforts.
5. Advertise your products and services in the communication vehicles of your charity such as newsletters and magazines.
6. Offer special discounts and targeted promotions to people who are associated with your charity.

How do you choose your charity?

Look for charities that you believe in and to which you have some affinity. Not only will it be more fun, but also you’ll be happier giving your time and means.

From a business standpoint, look for charities that will give you meaningful exposure to a large number of influential people. In my corporate consulting days most of the partners sat on the boards of various charities with other business executives. You may also want to volunteer your time in a position that will show your talents and skills.

If you are sponsoring a charitable event, try to choose one in which your target market would participate. For instance, if you mostly make jewelry for for young girls/women think about creating specific school or sports pendants and donating a portion of the sales to the school’s Booster Club or PTA.

Even though this article has been about building your business through partnerships, your primary motivation should always be to help people or society. We should all do our part to give back and leave this earth better than we found it. There are hundreds of opportunities that will allow you to get involved and make a difference in your community. Let your heart lead you and I promise you will not go wrong. And don’t feel ashamed to profit from your charitable giving. Hundreds of charities are searching for special businesses to help them in their cause. Find them and lend your helping hand.

I personally like to participate in Relay for Life, Second Chance (a local non-kill animal shelter), and Operation Military Family. If you are interested in finding out more about them just click on their names and you will be directed to their websites.

This article was written with the aid of David Frey’s article on

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