Bruce Freeman, the Small Business Professor for Scripps Howard News Service, wrote about recruiting people and businesses to help your charity. Here’s some information on collaborative or cause marketing from his column that was offered by Laney Liner, marketing director for Moms Who Kick Inc.
Plan, plan, plan. Create a plan that identifies what businesses you will contact — and why and when. The why piece is vital, because it will support why small business should help you.
Do research. Make sure you properly research small businesses that you believe share your charity’s same core values and that provide a product or service that may be able to educate, help or solve a problem for individuals aligned with your charity.
This research may involve interviewing friends or customers of different small businesses to provide a strong case around why aligning with that business will benefit both parties. These interviews may reveal key individuals within these small businesses who would be excellent volunteers.
Create a presentation. This should be scalable, because you will need to customize based on each small business you wish to contact. The presentation should include a range of information about the charity that would help the business determine whether to explore an alliance or volunteer opportunity. The presentation must list examples of how both parties will mutually benefit.
Once this is complete, you can start setting appointments.
Ask for referrals. There may be some cases where you learn on the spot that a small business is the perfect fit. However, you may learn that, for various reasons, it cannot commit or is not the right fit. Because you have a captive audience, it would advantageous to ask if the business representatives know of any other small businesses they can refer.