Later today I’m meeting with a group of small business owners who will discuss an upcoming series of forums that can help local businesses engage in philanthropy.
Those of us who read and write about this stuff may tend to over complicate things. We use terms like “cause marketing” and “corporate social responsibility” and “social enterprise.” But I know many of the people who started these businesses that give back and I can guarantee you that they did not think much about what to call it.
I think they truly believed that they should share the profits from their work with their customers, who in turn give it back to the causes they care about. Or they should share it with the causes directly. These are entrepreneurs whose most compelling question is, “How can I make this a win-win-win?” (business/customer/cause)
If you’re trying to figure out how to use your business to help others in our community, I say let the marketing/nonprofit/consultant/researchers figure out what to call it. If it’s genuine, transparent and true to your brand, just call it good.
*There’s an interesting study on how consumers react to a company’s cause marketing/corporate responsibility from Cone Communications here. The results are very positive.
Also, see this idea-generating post “6 Ways Small Businesses Can Give Back” and figure out which charities you and your customers care about.
And learn what some local businesses are doing to Change My Town in Austin.