Partner with Non-Profits to Boost Your Biz!
Do you have a non-profit you are passionate about?
Personally, for me, I am affiliated with Trafficking Hope, which is an anti-human trafficking organization. I am VERY passionate about the cause! I have been working with them since 2011 not only as a volunteer, but to build my client base as well.
Wait… what? How can you build your client base by volunteering and donating? I thought that was just to get a tax break! Yes, that is part of it, but below, we will discuss some ways to capitalize on your efforts.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS:
Avoid those "big box" non-profits. Choose one that you already volunteer with / donate to / very passionate about. Local non-profits = local email lists in your area.
Actually ACTIVELY volunteer with them. Take pics for social media as well if allowed, and tag tag tag! Let your client base know that you are a significant part of the community. Yes, you are volunteering your time for free, but it’s exactly how you WANT to… you’re not not giving out freebies to clients who don't appreciate it or who feel entitled for whatever reason.
For example, I help give trafficking awareness presentations at local businesses - a lot of the same businesses I already do chair massage at. I also mentor a few at-risk trafficking victims. I help manage the a couple of non-profit’s social media accounts.
Instead of discounting during the holidays, I prefer to donate a portion of the proceeds to my charity for a set time frame. (I see no point in discounting during the holidays to start with: This is prime time when people actually won’t think twice about paying full price.) Not only does *donating instead of discounting* set your biz apart, you are also earning good karma. And your clients will most likely leave a higher gratuity or pay extra when they know that they too are also being a part of supporting the local community.
During the holidays or slow times, I will create a graphic with my logo + chosen non-profit logo, and the organization will send out that graphic to their email list. (Last time they sent out an email blast for me, my biz name easily reached over 8k people on their local email list & I gained several new clients from the "Vida Pura Spa will donate 25% of their proceeds to Trafficking Hope" e-blast campaign.) Use the non-profit's email list to build your own and reach target clients that you otherwise wouldn't have been able to.
HOW TO GIVE TO SILENT AUCTIONS, GALAS, & FUNDRAISERS:
Give something that can reach several people, not just ONE person. For example: I donate 2 hours of corporate chair massage valued at $250 with stipulations: must be used at a corporate business or a school. I would rather reach 20+ people at a business and build my email list rather than allocating my time to just 1 person who may not come back for a future service. By donating 2 hours of complimentary corporate chair massage from my biz, I am usually making additional money by having upgrade options (such as an additional therapists, extra time, partnering with a friend to cater lunch, etc.) Even if they don't upgrade, I reached a handful of people instead of just one, utilizing my charity time wisely.
If you donate products, I recommend you add a service gift certificate to it as well, so they can come into your office. Make specific baskets to target a specific client (pain relief basket, sports recovery, prenatal relief, organic skincare)
Do NOT be afraid to SAY NO to organizations asking you for donations. You do not have to say yes or be guilted into giving to everything that comes your way. I often tell people requesting donations, "No, thank you, I have allocated all of my charitable donations for this year, but we will keep you in mind for next year." Donating several baskets / products / service can easily eat up your bank account and time. I also have a restriction that the person who requested cannot win the item. Unfortunately, I’ve seen too many business owners get taken advantage of by people looking for handouts… yes, this actually happens.
TAX DEDUCTIONS: Accountants will tell you various things about what actually can be written off as far as charitable donations (products vs. services vs. gift certificates), but in reality, I believe most states will allow a biz owner to receive an automatic $2-$5k maximum charitable deductions yearly ... but then again, I am not a certified accountant, so check on this with a professional tax person in your state, and stop asking people online. Ask a professional, and keep up with the donation forms & receipts for proof.
ATTEND THEIR EVENTS: Sometimes when you donate an X amount, the organization will let you attend their fundraiser complimentary. Or you could just go ahead and buy a ticket and support a good cause! A lot, and I mean a LOT of fellow business owners attend fundraisers / galas that you can network with and invite in to your business. I have gotten amazing clients just from chatting with local biz owners at events. If you donated to the auction, be sure to tag & take pics of your item for social media posts.
DONATE GIFT CERTIFICATES TO FELLOW VOLUNTEERS: Why not give a special "Thank You" to your fellow volunteer buddies for being a super badass? There's already a built-in rapport and trust factor with fellow volunteers. Plus, they have been working hard!
Do you volunteer with any organizations in your local community? What charitable cause ignites your passion?