How to Support the Right Charity in the Right Way

When supporting the right charity in the right way it can have massive benefits to a company. In a recent survey 95 percent of consumers would switch brands to one that supports a good cause if price and quality were simular, according to the 2015 Cone Communications CSR Study.

Although to gain such strong public support it is important that the charity engagement is long-term and is communicated in a meaningful way through many marketing channels, is aligned with your business strategy and is an issue your target audience cares about.

One of my favourite examples of a company that does this very well is Avon. They are positioned as ‘the company for women’ and its decades long support of breast cancer has certainly assisted in securing and affirming this position.

Their corporate vision is: ‘to be the company that best understands and satisfies the product, service and self-fulfillment needs of women globally. Our dedication to supporting women touches not only beauty – but health, fitness, self-empowerment and financial independence. ‘

Since 1993 Avon has started ‘The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade’ generating over $65 million from sales of pink ribbon products with total net funds raised worldwide exceeding $800 million.

Avon’s long-term commitment to beat breast cancer has benefited with authentic exposure for itself and a measurable impact for its cause. Instead of just indiscriminately signing a cheque to a charity as a bold and obvious public relations gesture and walking away, Avon has financially and emotionally committed to its cause to become the perfect model of corporate social responsibility – here’s why:

  1. Avon only chooses a few social issues to support.
    Choosing only a few causes with a clear focal point for corporate giving actually increases chances that the company can actually have an impact as resources are focused and multiple initiatives are aimed at one cause. Avon has supported breast cancer since 1993 and has committed wholeheartedly by measuring and reporting on the social outcomes it has achieved.In 2015, in the U.S alone, the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade made 145 grants for breast cancer programs, 63% of which were dedicated to patient service and care programs, and 37% to research. While the Avon Safety Net Program which ensures women with breast cancer diagnosis don’t fall through the cracks has awarded more than 760 grants since 2015, totaling more than $232 million.
  1. Avon chooses issues that are of concern in the communities where they do business.
    Avon’s Breast Cancer Crusade is focused on supporting a highly personal issue for women. The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade was founded in the UK in 1992 with a mission to fund access and find a cure for breast cancer. The cause has resonated well with the company’s market as well as with sales representatives.Avon supports programs for breast cancer and other vital women’s health issues in more than 50 countries worldwide. Where all funds are managed and disbursed by the Avon Foundation.
  1. Avon has chosen causes that have synergy with its values, products and services.
    Just as we develop and offer products and services that are consistent with our company’s mission and values, we should also choose areas of focus for social initiatives that have the same synergy i.e. Avon – Women and breast cancer.
  1. Avon chooses causes that have a potential to support business goals:
    As ‘the company for women’ Avon’s business goals are to recruit, train and motivate a vast and evolving army of female representatives whilst also creating valuable relationships with millions of women by focusing on a highly personal issue – breast cancer. They support cause promotions, local fundraising programs, direct online donations and a national series of fundraising walks and the sale of its special ‘pink ribbon’ products where 50 to 83 percent of the purchase price goes to breast cancer.
  1. Avon chooses issues that are of concern to its key stakeholders:
    By now its no guessing why Avon chose breast cancer, it’s important that your chosen cause resonates with your employees, target markets, customers, investors and corporate leaders. Support for social initiatives will be leveraged when the cause is also one near and dear to your key publics, both internal and external.
  1. Avon chooses causes that can be supported over a long term.
    Achieving maximum benefits for the company and the cause often depends on long-term commitments, frequently considered three or more years. Also companies who stick with the cause over the years are more likely to be able to own it, as does Avon with breast cancer.
By | 2019-01-25T04:37:48+00:00 October 16th, 2017|