I often feel very lucky that the clients I work with are genuinely lovely people.
As well as being good business people, most of them are generous and want to contribute to charity and good causes, to give back in some way from their successes.
The problem can be though that clients are approached by more and more organisations every year and on an adhoc basis.
This can become stressful, time consuming and disheartening. It’s hard to turn people down but it’s just not possible to say yes to every request.
The solution is to develop a strategy in advance for your CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) or your Good Causes, Giving Back or whatever you want to call it.
Think about your brand values, the story of the company and those in it and choose the types of charities that align best.
Decide on a budget in advance. This should be considered part of your marketing budget.
Allocate an amount in advance to each charity and talk to them about how you can promote your involvement.
In my experience, small to medium business owners in Ireland are so nice that they feel awkward talking about it. In my view, as a business you have to get a return in some way from donating to good causes, otherwise it is not sustainable.
Charities benefit from businesses promoting the fact that they support them – it builds awareness and can encourage others to support them too.
Leave some budget aside for one or two adhoc requests. When the budget has been spent, tell any additional people who make requests to send in details for consideration next year – you can’t say fairer than that.