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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Advertise Your Business by Engaging in Charitable Giving

Small businesses typically have a limited budget for advertising expenses. There are many sophisticated ways to promote a business, without breaking the bank. One is to provide services for free to a local or regional charity.

Many nonprofit organizations, especially chapters of national organizations, are looking for opportunities to partner with local merchants. Offering your services for free to a charity can be a great way to promote your business. Charities need the same services as a for-profit business. In many cases, a non-profit organization is unable to pay for services that could help promote their cause or service. This is a great opportunity to provide pro-bono services that will advertise at the same time offer a tax deduction for your business. It is a win-win.

A company that has leveraged this type of opportunity is Constant Contact. Constant Contact is a provider of do-it-yourself email marketing. I recently learned that it has a program called Constant Contact Cares 4 Kids. Under this program, it has established a relationship with nonprofit organizations such as the United Way. Constant Contact provides its services free to 1300 local chapter affiliates. The benefit is that United Way local affiliates can market services and implement donation campaigns via email, at no cost, thereby reducing overhead expenses.

The United Way is a great organization for kids and Constant Contact
has leveraged the opportunity to help out a charitable organization that fit within its niche that offers great positive exposure. In return, the United Way has created a page on its website under its “partners” section exclusively for Constant Contact. The web page highlights Constant Contact by explaining the relationship as well as links and information about Constant Contact’s services.

This relationship is brilliant because Constant Contact’s email marketing templates provide links to its own website, therefore, anyone on the United Way’s email campaigns are exposed to a Constant Contact product. In the end, this is a smart relationship for the United Way because it provides all of its local chapters a free marketing tool and Constant Contact is making a charitable contribution that gains them terrific exposure.

Small business such as printers, IT services, website development, public relations, marketing, caterers and many more can benefit from establishing a similar relationship with a nonprofit. So be creative, identify an organization in your community and start leveraging your charitable efforts for great branding exposure.

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