May 9

Philanthropy and Marketing…


This really isn’t ‘on topic’ with the trading niche, but there are aspects of this that apply to us in the trading biz.

What is TRUE philanthropy? Is there a RIGHT way to tie corporate philanthropy and marketing?

Let’s discuss…

Diane got an email she forwarded along to me the other day from RubyTuesday and how much they’re ‘giving back’. Check it out here: RubyTuesday/GivingBack.

On its face…THAT’S AWESOME!

We all pray for the success so we can help others! Whether it’s our church, local foundation, or something closer to our hearts. Being able to take care of others with the blessings of our own successes is what we all strive to achieve. RubyTuesday seems to do a lot of good for the local community, and I’m sure there are hundreds of other corps that do the same thing and also share their ‘good deeds’ with others. THIS is what business is all about…

But before we jump on the bandwagon of publishing all our good deeds…does us touting that we give back turn into a not such a good thing?

Does it do more harm than good to ‘tout’ our giving back? Or, to have your corporation’s name published as a sponsor of a charitable event?  Yay, Free Publicity AND a tax write-off. It seems great for the  recipient organization at first glance – but, when we look closely at it, is it possible that we , the taxpayers, end up paying for it in the longrun?  Or, do we shrug our shoulders and call it a Win-Win result?

Is it bad/good for business to tell customers that you give ‘X %’ to your local charity?

Are people more cynical now-a-days?

Is it good from a business-to-business perspective?

Should we do it because we know it’s right and it’ll encourage OTHERS to participate?

What are our REAL motives??

See, we all wear different hats….businessowners, marketers, PR experts, and HUMAN BEINGS!

Is there a RIGHT way to mix charity and marketing?? 🙂




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  • Hi Brad,

    Nice article!

    There’s definitely a way to incorporate philanthropy with business – look at Richard Branson and Virgin Unite (for example). Knowing how much good Branson does for the community – adds another reason why it feels ‘good’ to do business w/ Virgin.

    Here’s a similar article I wrote concerning JetBlue -> – I’ve got a hunch you’ll appreciate it.

    With gratitude,

    • I also think it’s how it’s USED. Is it a BIG part of your marketing?? Or a small part? Is it bragging…or sharing to encourage others to share? I think it’s the deep feelings behind it.

  • I am reluctant to benefit from the promotion of charitable activities but I realize that increasing the awareness for good charities is important.

    I really feel that it has to be a bigger commitment than just money. as an advocate for a charity if you are not willing to put a piece of yourself into the support of the charity, than the point is lost.

    On a personal level I will only reach out through my business contacts to help a charity if I am personally putting time into it. Even then, I am very cautious about how it is messaged.

    A for profit company that does a great job of generating significant impact for the charities it helps is

  • Hey Brad,

    It definitely is an interesting post and topic. We actually do a bit of that with our business in that we donate 10% of revenue that come in to non-profits that we list on our website. I do think there is a balance in this that you can’t try to play the “just buy this for charity card” or have a “look at how good we are” mentality.

    Our attempt in a perfect world is that our actual giving is not the focus but rather an opportunity to highlight causes we support try to redirect the attention on specific charities and encouraging others to do so. We definitely do not want to be seen as someone bragging about it as you mentioned and I think that is something that would turn people off big time.

    One of the goals in starting our business was to be able to do well while also doing good and then working with some of the charities we support and helping to provide additional support (for example, helping to record videos or other things that are easy for us to do but many people have no idea about).

    I think there are a lot of things that all of us know how to do in our day to day work that can be extremely valuable to charities through donations of time as well as money like John Boyer pointed out in his comment. Anyways, thanks again for posting about this topic.

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