Most financial institutions are used to donation requests throughout the year from a large number of diverse and well-meaning charitable causes. Many contribute to a large number of these causes (which is not necessarily a negative thing). However, savvy financial institutions should look for some type of return on their charitable donations investment. This will come with some careful planning and consideration as you look for how to best impact your community:
One way to do this is by limiting your available charitable funds to a few local charities or events (as opposed to spreading your budget-friendly across many causes which can water-down the impact of your donations). It’s not easy to say “no” to any deserving charity, but for a more lasting impact on your market awareness, it is wise to choose just a few in which to invest your donation budget.
Having said this, you must ensure that the few you choose are best-linked to your brand and your target markets. They must also tie into target markets in which you are interested. For example, if an important part of your brand is financial literacy for children and young adults, it makes sense to contribute to charitable causes which also focus on this age group.
To help save time and energy for both your financial institution and charitable requests, you might find it easier to develop some type of request template and place it on your website. This would inform potential charitable organizations about your guidelines and requirements for donation requests and potentially save time on the back-end by reducing the amount of uncomfortable “I’m sorry but we just can’t help at this time” responses from your credit union or bank.
When selecting a financial institution, many consumers (especially younger ones) may make decisions based upon how they feel about your charitable and social cause efforts. By focusing your efforts on several key events/charities and developing upfront guidelines for the request, you’re already off to a great start when it comes to reaching these potential consumers and contributing to a positive impact in the communities you serve.
By spending some time thinking strategically about how you work with local charities you can improve your impact on the community while improving your perception in the community.