By Kate Olsen
According to Cone research, consumers want to know a lot more about your company’s social impact work. Why not make them a part of it? Here are three ways to involve your consumers in your corporate philanthropy programs.
1) Give them a Vote: The popularity of crowdsourced philanthropy contests such as Chase Community Giving or Starbuck’s Vote. Give. Grow. demonstrate that consumers want to be involved in your company’s community grantmaking process. Giving your customers a way to vote for nonprofits they care about makes them feel like part of the philanthropy team. The keys are to make the voting process relevant on a local level across your company’s footprint and make it extremely easy to participate.
2) Let them Nominate Grantees: A step up from giving consumers a vote is letting them select the grantees in your philanthropy pool. Use the nomination process to get personal stories from consumers about why they are passionate about certain causes. Not only will you gain insights about what your consumers care about, you will also recruit powerful marketing collateral to use in your cause campaigns.
3) Step Aside: The zenith in consumer-driven corporate philanthropy is to turn over control of the process entirely. Select a trusted group of customers to speak for your philanthropy team. For example, State Farm allows its Youth Advisory Board manage $5 million portfolio of service-learning projects each year.
Which way do you think has the most impact?