So often, I hear folks on the corporate side of the cause partnership equation expressing concern that they’ll never have the budget to do what “soandso” can do. You could fill in that blank with any number of famous national corporate cause player’s name. Other companies that are local or regional in size sometimes worry that they can’t make a significant cause impact either. My advice has always been that any company can launch a meaningful cause program — so long as you focus on promoting the right message and nonprofit partner. I recommend finding a partner close to your own size. Here’s an example…
An independent restaurant can effectively work with a well-known hunger-based charity, around the obvious synergy of “food.” But, the key is that they should strive for a partner of similar size. So, they should seek out the LOCAL affiliate of that charity, not the national office. Or that same local restaurant could also forge a collaboration with a local charity. In fact, it is that very scenario that inspired me to write this blog post!
The Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency is an Atlanta-based organization whose mission is to empower homeless individuals to achieve economic self sufficiency and their ultimate potential to thrive in life. Their programs foster personal commitment and accountability, spiritual restoration, respect for the individual, and providing a hand up – not a hand out.
Souper Jenny is an Atlanta-based restaurant serving “Delicious homemade soups for your body and soul.” Souper Jenny is a cozy neighborhood cafe with a brand value of being a good neighbor and place where folks enjoy hanging out and feel at home.
Recently, Souper Jenny learned about ACSS through a friend. She did a little web research and felt inspired to help. They are donating 10% of their Sunday brunch sales to ACSS. In the first two weeks, they’ve already donated $750. On an annual basis, this simple effort could generate up to $15,000. To put that in perspective, that is enough to fund 4 homeless individuals through ACSS’ Career Works program, and set them on the road to self-sufficiency. So, is that cause effort “too small” to matter? No way! It is huge and life changing!! Just ask those 4 ACSS graduates. Go, Jenny Go – you are truly Souper!
And, here’s another fabulous example…
Lucky’s Burger & Brew plus Alabama Tornado Disaster Support = A Great Cause CampaignJust last night, my family was eating at our favorite neighborhood burger restaurant, Lucky’s Burger and Brew.
The food is fantastic and the atmosphere is perfect for a dog lover like me. The theme is all based off the owner’s Labrador Retriever, Lucky. You can even bring your own dog to Lucky’s and sit on the patio and pass the evening away during a serenade from a local guitarist. F-U-N! So, last night I noticed a table tent promotion that Lucky’s is launching to help the tornado survivors of Tuscaloosa. May seem a bit odd – an Atlanta-based restaurant supporting an Alabama town. But, the tie is perfect because the manager is a proud BAMA grad (Roll Tide!) and every Lucky’s regular knows it because he shares his school pride on a regular basis. (And for those of you who read my blog regularly, you may recall that I am a big BAMA fan too. Lucky’s is hosting a special event on Father’s Day. There will be music, food specials and fun activities. Patrons are asked to donate cash or needed items for the Tuscaloosa survivors. Lucky’s is working with the Red Cross to coordinate their drive. And, in keeping with their dog-lover brand identity, they are going to focus their efforts toward securing donations and support for Tuscaloosa animal care needs. Their namesake, Lucky, is all for that!
So, with the right message and right target audience and scope, a company of any size can truly make a big difference!
And that is colossal!