How Working With Non-Profits Can Make Your Startup Grow Faster

As an entrepreneur, you’re always looking for opportunities to grow your business. While there are countless ways to do this, one particularly creative option is through charitable collaborations.

Working with a non-profit or a charity is a growth opportunity that entrepreneurs need to embrace in 2019. Read on to discover why, with some useful tips to get you started as well.

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Why should entrepreneurs work with charities?

There are myriad benefits of working with charities for entrepreneurs — here are just a few.

There are myriad benefits of working with charities for entrepreneurs — here are just a few.

1. It’s easy and affordable marketing for your business

Working with a charity is a two-way relationship. Each party generates content that celebrates your partnership, shouting about the work you’re doing together and the positive changes you’re striving for.

Moreover, the content your charity partner creates serves as powerful marketing for your brand. It exposes you to an entirely new audience of prospective customers, growing your business as a result. So because it’s relatively free (outside of any donations), it’s organic, positive, and provides independent social proof that benefits your business.

2. It attracts the right kind of employee

Employees are the lifeblood of a growing business. While you guide your enterprise at the helm, your staff are pushing it along from behind. As businessman Jason Davies says, it’s expensive to replace people. Consequently, it’s essential that you hire and attract the right kind of employees to help your business grow.

A charitable partnership expedites this. Beyond looking for just a decent salary, candidates also look for a company that has a positive ethos behind it too — they want to work for the good guys. Indeed, 75% of millennials claim to be happy with a pay cut if it means working for an employer with heart.

As an entrepreneur, working with charities attracts the right kind of talent, which in turn increases employee engagement and retention as a result.

3. It’s great for your public relations

In the world of business, image is everything. A positive public image increases lead generation, attracts investors, and enhances branding, amongst other benefits. Beyond this, it provides valuable social proof.

Social proof is your most influential marketing asset. 83% of consumers trust recommendations from their friends over traditional advertising — charity endorsements make that social proof bulletproof. As a result, it fosters sustained business growth that is well worth chasing.

A charitable collaboration is a powerful driving force for this. By working with a charity or non-profit for a positive cause, you show the world that you are a good business with positive values at your heart.

How can I work with charities for growth?

You know why working with charities is good for growth. Now here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. Sponsor an event for some quick-win exposure

Sponsoring a charity event is a simple way to work with charities and grow your business. Fun runs, fairs, picnics — these are all perfect charity events to get your business involved.

You could set up a stall to create a presence at the event, or send some staff to help steward. Create some branded merchandise to hand it out and publicize your attendance on social. It’s quick exposure at a targeted audience, and it’s ideal for growing your following online.

The key to a substantial sponsorship opportunity is finding a charity whose target audience overlaps with yours.

For instance, if your customers are predominantly young people aged 18-35, you could connect with a charity aimed at empowering young people into the world of business, which gets your brand exposed to the right kind of customer in a subtle, organic way.

2. Get hands-on to show the world you’re involved

If you have the time and resources, a hands-on approach is a healthy option that will help grow your business.

Set aside some time — a day, a week, or even longer — and send your team to work with your chosen charity on the frontline.

For instance, if you partner with an environmental charity, you could spend the day cleaning rivers in your local area. However, if your charity doesn’t do physical work in this sense, even a trip to your charity’s offices for a talk or workshop will suffice.

It’s crucial to squeeze this event for as much content as possible. Pre- and post-event blog coverage, social promotion, real-time Instagram Story updates, even interactive Q&As — this provides value to your target audience while publicizing your charitable partnership into the bargain.

3. Integrate it into your existing business infrastructure

A charitable partnership doesn’t need to be comprehensive. A simple in-store donation scheme is enough to benefit your chosen charity while delivering the myriad benefits such a collaboration affords.

Many tools and software put donations, and charitable initiatives as part of their offering built it into the system itself. For instance, many e-commerce platforms make it easy to accept donations at the checkout. On the same page that your customers enter their payment details, they can also easily donate.

This system is already used by several companies and with great success. Not only are consumers willing to get involved, but businesses are too.

The eco-entrepreneur Matt Hill summed up the issue: “Companies are looking to do something more. They don’t know what. [...] If a company gives us $2,000 to plant 2,000 trees in Colorado, they know exactly what the donation went to.”

It’s about having a tangible impact on the planet that customers can both get involved in and actually see the benefits of.

This kind of partnership is ideal for time-poor entrepreneurs who still want to collaborate with a charity. A simple social campaign drives attention to your partnership so you can still enjoy the benefits at low cost and effort.

In summary, working with a charity offers a range of benefits for entrepreneurs. Good PR, top talent, positive marketing — all are at your fingertips with a charity collaboration. Follow the tips above and start working with charities today, and enjoy the benefits in 2019.