A recent article in the Harvard Business Review, “Making Charity Pay” by Michael Norton and Jill Avery, shows how business can use philanthropy to improve profitability. They point out that charity can enhance customer loyalty, brand awareness and sales. To impact metrics positively, however, you need to implement the cause-based initiatives appropriately.
Norton and Avery analyzed both successful and unsuccessful charitable initiatives and determined that success is driven by companies aligning causes that resonate with customers in a way that drives sales.
The first part of the equation is aligning the cause with the customer. With most successful initiatives, it means looking beyond causes that are important to you, the leadership team or maybe even your local community. You need to talk to your customers and understand what causes are important to them. One simple technique I have found particularly successful is surveying your users and asking them to rank the causes you are considering for the initiative. Continue reading “Using charity to improve revenue”