Giving Back is GOOD Business

Tracy Steffensen

Updated – November 2016. It has always been our belief that a well-run business creates goodwill with their customers and community. This is the reason why we recommend and strongly encourage our clients to give back during the Holiday season. The practice of giving back help build relationships and guarantees your business long-term success.

Giving back can create brand loyalty from your clients, sets you apart from competition, and your employees will feel good about their company – basically all essential things in business.

IMA christmas treendustry observers agree that customers today expect businesses to be socially responsible. That’s probably why in the U.S. alone, 89% of the small business entrepreneurs donate money, out of their own pockets or through their companies. This stats is based on a study by Ernst & Young and the American-based foundation Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund. Also, they noted that 62% of those companies claim that giving back make their companies more successful in the long run. This simply proves that customers will more likely support your products or services if they know you are doing your part in the community.

There are different ways of reaching out to your clients or customers during the Holiday season. You can:

1. Send customized holiday “thank you” cards.

A handwritten message is always preferred. Let them know you appreciate their trust and their business. You can check out Photobox, Moo, and Zazzle for ideas and quotations.

2. Donate to a charitable institution.

It would be great if you engage in causes where majority of your clients are passionate about. For example, at Marketing Angels we regularly donate to the microfinance organisation Kiva that facilitates loans to small businesses in Third World countries. Recently, we also created a HTML email campaign for a business where its clients can click on a button to choose which charity to donate on their behalf.

3. Volunteer for a good cause as part of a Christmas event.

This activity forges strong emotional connections with employees. And we all know that an employee who feels good about their company, invest more on their work. This is also a perfect opportunity for an employee to learn new skills which he/she can incorporate in his/her daily work. You may use this too as PR boost. Share your social activities on your web site, in your newsletters, and across all your social media accounts.

4. Give a gift which represents your brand or service.

At Marketing Angels, it has been our tradition, in the last 15 years, to give each of our valued clients a Christmas Angel–and it’s different every year. We usually wrap the gift in a branded ribbon with a personalized card as a strong reminder of our brand. It’s a small gesture but is always appreciated by our clients. They know that we’re not only looking after their business, but value the relationship that we have with them as well.

What will your company get out from giving back? A lot.

  • It strengthens customer relationship.

Statistics have shown that customer acquisition is many times more costly than customer retention. Show appreciation and your customers are more likely to want to continue to do business with you.

  • You develop a sense of corporate empathy.

Recognizing how others feel are one of the many principles successful businesses like Apple put effort into. Get to see the world through the community’s perspective, then it will strengthen your understanding of how your products or services affect others, and all the other issues that affects your business.

  • It helps solidify company values.

Giving back to organizations with the same mission and vision as yours solidifies and strengthens your own values, as your involvement grows.

  • You get fulfillment.

Isn’t it great to give back to those who have helped you? The satisfaction of being able to do your part in giving back is invaluable. It gives you pride and a sense of belongingness which you can use to drive your business forward.

It doesn’t matter if it’s just a small token or a generous gesture. No need to break the bank to make a difference. What’s important is that you made time to show appreciation to people who matters to your business. Goodwill is the most important thing you can generate with your customers. People like to do business with people who do good things.

What good things do you do to give back to your customers and community for Christmas? I’d love to hear of inventive ways you create goodwill.

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