Monday, July 26, 2010

Fundraising: Even Businesses Have Been Bit With the Philanthropy Bug

Author: Raymond Shell

Is philanthropy the new trend in business? It defiantly seems that way, now more than ever before, companies are looking to participate in the fundraising activities of our communities, churches, and schools. But just how involved are today's businesses willing to get?
This trend towards social responsibility is not completely new for businesses. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, is probably as well known for his philanthropic efforts through his charitable organization, the "Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation", as he is for creating the software giant that propelled him to the number one position on the Forbes list of the World's Richest People.
Not one to ever be outdone, the man who at one time held the number two position on that same list of who's –who made a charitable gift of epic proportions. On June 26th, 2006 the sage of Omaha, Warren Buffet, pledged $31 billion to the "Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation." When he donated 85% of his net worth to the charity, he not only doubled the size of the foundation, but he went into the history books for making the single largest charitable donation in history.
More recently, we saw the soft drink mega corporation, Pepsi Corp.; end a 25 year relationship with the NFL (National Football League.) When Pepsi opted to forgo advertising in the 2010 Super Bowl the trend towards business philanthropy was solidified. Instead of purchasing commercial time during the most watched televised event in the world, where a 30 second spot can costs as much as $3 million, Pepsi announced that they would be donating the advertising money to various fundraisers across America during a campaign they named "The Pepsi Refresh Project."
What makes this philanthropy movement so unique is that it is not just the big corporations getting involved. Small, medium, and even Mom and Pop shops are volunteering their time, products and services to help ensure the success of local fundraisers. One of the more popular ways these smaller, and in today's economy- often times struggling, businesses are getting involved is thru donating a portion of your purchase to a specific charity or fundraiser. This creates a situation where everybody wins. The business lives up to its "civic duty" and you get the pride of helping others while purchasing something you needed and were going to buy anyway.
While researching this article I found that even the internet businesses are feeling the need to get involved. One site that I came across, who offers remote computer repair, pledges 10% of your purchase to the community schooling system. What made this so unique wasn't the fact that they were committed to a school fundraising project, it was that they allowed you to name the school that received the gift. While I make a purchase ofaI service that I truly do need, I can directly have a positive impact on my children's education; meanwhile, someone in –let's say- Nebraska can afford the same opportunity to their children or grandchildren.
You can learn more about remote computer repair, and one companies fundraising efforts here.
While mega donations and fundraising as a marketing technique may be good PR- the verdict is probably still out on that- it is the act of community involvement that is so refreshing. Just when you think social pride is all but extinct, our business community steps in and gives us a much needed shot in the arm

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About the Author

Raymond is a Public Relations Consultant by day. At night he surfs the internet looking for for things that are worth sharing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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