Cause marketing offers an amazing opportunity for you to give back to your community, supporting the programs and initiatives that matter to you and to your business. It also offers a number of benefits for your business. Seventy-seven percent of Americans feel a deep emotional connection to purpose-driven brands, and 90% of them are likely to switch to a brand that supports a cause they care about.
Are you supporting your community this holiday season? Try some of these opportunities to get involved with a cause that matters and support the Portland community this year.
1. Put on a Toy Drive
Create a few local drop off locations for members of the community to provide toys for kids in need. Consider donating toys or matching donations to help encourage contributions. During the holiday seasons, no one wants to imagine kids going without something special under the tree. They like the idea of providing for kids. Many people in the community go out of their way to purchase products for toy drives and other organizations dedicated to providing a great Christmas to those kids.
A toy drive is also a very visible way to show your commitment to giving back. Consumers feel a sense of warmth when they give back to needy children during the holidays, and they will connect that feeling with your brand when you allow them to participate in those initiatives. This is also a great way to get involved with while incorporating a no-contact initiative during the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. Host a Virtual 5k for a Cause
Most years, there are a lot of races around the holidays that benefit a good cause. With social distancing measures still in place across the country, however, that's not possible this year. Luckily, virtual races offer a great opportunity to invite people to get involved and get active without needing to be crowded together in an in-person race. Move your 5k to a virtual format. It will allow more people to participate and help spread awareness. Then, send out the proceeds to a local initiative.
Feel free to get creative with your virtual 5k. Many runners love the idea of races that allow them to do something fun: milk and cookie runs, hot chocolate runs, or costume runs around the holidays, for example. Create swag kits that reflect that need for fun, especially in light of everything community members have lost this year. Consider:
- Gourmet hot chocolate packets, candy canes, and specialty marshmallows for a hot chocolate-themed run
- Jingle bells for jingling fun
- "Ugly sweater" shirts and medals
- Special lights for a night run
The more creative your run, the greater the likelihood that runners will get excited about participating, even from a distance. Don't forget to encourage pictures, set up a hashtag, and encourage runners to run in costume!
3. Start a Food Drive
In March of 2020 alone, food banks increased their giving by 20% nationwide. This year, more people than ever need those contributions--and some food banks are struggling to keep up with the demand. Food drives are a great way for your business to answer some of that need.
Partner with a local food bank to collect donations or encourage customers to round-up. Money raised will go to the local food bank. Consider matching donations or making a large donation of your own, especially of items like fresh vegetables or meat. Remember to share information about where the food will go and who can benefit from it, especially as customers who might need to take advantage of those food banks come through your doors.
4. Sponsor a Family
Connect with a local charity to learn about a family in need, then clear their Christmas list. Many people like the idea of knowing who they're giving back to and how their donations will impact that family or individual. While you do want to maintain the family's privacy, you also want to show your commitment to caring for members of the community. Consider inviting shoppers to partner with you in purchasing items for the list or donating a small portion of the cost for that family's needs. This year, you may find more families in need than usual--but when everyone steps up together, it's easier to meet those needs. By sponsoring a family, your business can turn what might have been a lean holiday season into something better than they could have imagined.
Due to the pandemic, there are more people throughout the community in need this year. While that can pose a challenge for many charities and organizations, which may be trying to decide how they can meet as many needs as possible, it also means that your business has a great chance to make a difference for families in the Portland area. You can give back and help your business at the same time by letting your customers know about your charitable contributions and allowing them to partner with you in giving back where possible. Include information in your digital campaigns, share information in-store, or even include information about your charitable initiatives as part of your TV ads.