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Make Money: Fill Your Dance Card

Corporate philanthropic giving generally flows in one of three directions. The “Fill Your Dance Card” option links giving back with growing revenue. You give, in part, to build new customers.

One common way to fill your dance card is to sponsor events. Event sponsorships persist because of thier success. Eighty-nine percent of U.S. consumers stated that given similar quality and price, they prefer brands linked with a cause. Dan Ariely writes about a study involving art and donations: “These results suggest that once someone (or some organization) does us a favor, we become partial to anything related to the giving party… the magnitude of this bias increases as the magnitude of the initial favor (in this case the amount of payment) increases.”

Event sponsorships, however, represent just one way to fill your dance card. You have a boat load of other choices.

You might also investigate operating sponsorships. Or “Introduce Yourself” options. Introduce yourself options include prizes, contests, scholarships, free tickets, etc. They help potential customers meet you. For instance, a plumbing supply business offers a competitive scholarship to a local tech school. The company welcomes classes of future plumbers and gains, as Ariely suggests, their favor. At a chamber presentation, a business introduces itself by raffling a free session and other prizes. A theme park offers a free ticket to a child who reads the most books in a year. This introduces the park, supports competitive reading, and creates park partiality among the school’s students, the teacher, and their parents.

To benefit from a full dance card, identify the specific customers with whom to dance. Explore nonprofits that interact with them. Don’t forget the potential value of connecting with a nonprofit's board members, donors, and volunteers. Luxury brands often align with high-end markets, i.e., a Bentley dealer engages with the symphony. Other businesses find their potential customers on Saturday at work-site volunteers at Habitat for Humanity.

Introduce yourself options, events, and operating sponsorships present three of many way to fill your dance card by partnering with nonprofits. What steps will you take to fill your dance card? Don't dance alone when you can dance with potential customers.

For more information about business-nonprofit opportunities subscribe to The Link. Or, contact Karen.

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