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Why supporting not-for-profit organisations are crucial to business success

The business world is competitive, cut-throat, and ever evolving. Companies are consistently on the lookout for ways to get an edge on their competitors and stand out from the crowd. Often, businesses do this through cutting costs or expensive marketing campaigns. A strategy that is rarely utilised is to explore the benefits of partnering and supporting local community initiatives that are in place to solve social issues. This concept is built off the modern business strategy called ‘shared value’. Shared value is essentially the commitment to solve social issues in a profitable manner. The strategy itself can be quite difficult to implement for small to medium businesses, so instead, a shortcut to gain some of the same benefits the strategy possesses is to partner your for profit business with a not-for-profit business who are trying to solve these issues, and work with them to support them in their goals. This blog will give an explanation on three major benefits that can be gained from supporting not-for-profit organisations in a genuine, value driven manner.

 Firstly, and perhaps most obviously, is that by partnering with not-for-profit organisations your business and brand increases its customer loyalty. As a business, your customers are everything. Without them, you essentially have no business. The more loyal these customers are to your brand means that they continue to return to your business, time and time again, increasing your hold over the market. The reason partnering with not-for-profit organisations has this effect is relatively simple. People like to support businesses that support them and their communities. These same people are more likely to feel a sense of loyalty to your business when they know the money they spend is in some way working towards making their society a better place. It is the reason many of the best organisations make a strong emphasis on setting targets that go past just the profit margin. By doing this, you are making a long term investment into caring about your customers, and when companies care about their customers, customers care about companies.

Secondly, partnering with not-for-profits is a good indication to the world of the values you hold as a business. This helps grow your brand equity, which is an indication of how much value your brand holds within the market. Having stronger brand equity means that your brand is perceived as being of higher value, meaning that customers are happy to pay more or give greater commitment to your brand. This also allows your business to have greater marketability. Advertising that you have created a genuine relationship of support with a not-for-profit allows for engaging and beneficial content to be marketed to potential customers. This marketability helps grow your business and engage with more committed customers and therefore works in a cyclical nature of continuously improving your brand equity.

These benefits also lead to a greater resilience for your brand against external business threats. With the global landscape of business always changing, and external, uncontrollable threats such as the GFC and COVID-19 pandemic, it is as vital as ever to ensure your business is set up with withstand these risks. Partnering with a not-for-profit organisation and creating relationships which strengthen your brand equity and customer loyalty go a long way in helping businesses survive external threats. If you position your business to be in support of other organisations that are integral to solving social issues, then customers will be quick to reward you with their business in both the good times and the rough times.

Changes are occurring in the wider business landscape, and customers are now expecting more from businesses. Businesses that deliver a wider value offering to their customers and the communities their customers are a part of are positioning themselves to take their brand to the next level. The idea of shared value is born out of providing value for businesses, whilst solving social issues. It doesn’t have to be a trade-off, it should in fact be an advantageous strategy for all involved. Partnering with a not-for-profit is no longer a simple donation. Creating genuine and long lasting relationships with these organisations will go a long way to helping improve your business and providing value to the not-for-profit you choose to support.