Lately, I have been asked several times what it took to raise over $1 billion over a 7 year span while working with an amazing charity. What I have noticed is that SME’s (Small to Medium Enterprises) are looking for a reason to be involved raising charitable funds, and charities are always looking to find a positive way to promote their brand and raise more funds. In light of this I decided to create a workshop that goes into a lot of depth of the positive results that come from charities and SME’s working together to create something special.
Another trend I have seen during the past year is that many charities are looking outside of the traditional fund raiser who has been focused mostly on securing major gifts from high net worth individuals, and instead have broadened their search for entrepreneurial, big picture, visionary leaders who bring more innovative ideas to the table. This is GREAT NEWS for the charity and for the entrepreneur because both will benefit from the more “entrepreneurial thinker.”
I have so many stories to share about this topic, and will share several of them over time, but the message I want to drive home today is the power behind the brand, passion, contacts, and innovation that combine together to create immense success. Many charities and corporations that I have worked with over the past decade seem to have excellent programs in place – but lack a few important elements to really drive home the mission in the minds of potential donors to the cause. Charities are usually run, well, like a charity…meaning they tell people to just give them money because they will do good things with it. That is not the question on the mind of the donor or corporation. The real question is “how will you show a return on my investment?” Other than just feeling good about doing good, charitable causes need to show some measurable ways of a return on the investment made by people/companies.
DeLon Mork is one small business owner who goes above and beyond to make a difference in his community. He owns a quick serve restaurant (Dairy Queen) in Madison, SD and he has a passion to raise money for children in his area. A father, and a business owner, DeLon wanted to make a difference in local community by participating in an annual event to sell his signature product (Blizzard) and take the proceeds to be donated to his local children’s hospital.
Madison, South Dakota has a thriving population of 6,809 people. So to measure success it would be great for DeLon to sell to 25% of the population, or around 1,700 Blizzards in one day. But that seemed too low, and DeLon set out to really make a difference, and ask his friends, family, employees, vendors, the mayor, the county supervisor and a whole lot more people in Madison and the surrounding areas – to buy two Blizzards. The results the first year DeLon’s store participated were simply amazing…he sold over 12,000 Blizzards and raised over $34,000! He caught the vision and shared his passion with as many that would listen. He even drove 75 miles to deliver Blizzards to businesses who pre-purchased the cool treats.
The local hospital was more than thankful for DeLon’s passion, and they rewarded him with some catering contracts, some local PR on the radio, in print and on TV by asking their media contacts to run a story about DeLon’s success. This in turn has not only brought in more business to Delon’s DQ, it has endeared him in the hearts and minds of the local and surrounding customers. The return on his investment has been immense. The ROI to the local customers is huge as they can stake a claim to the money raised to help sick and injured children in their community.
Here are three things businesses and charities need to remember when they are asking customers and donors to do business with them…And a friend of mine, Nancy Haggerty taught me why this formula is so important. As a customer or donor, I want to know:
- Do you care about me?
- Can I trust you?
- Do you excel at excellence in all that you do?
When you prove this to your customers, you will always come out ahead! And, you and the business will look back and say that your investment, or their investment was definitely met with a solid return.
Make it a great day!
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