Consumers appreciate when companies are socially responsible. But how should you go about setting up a partnership with a charity, and what are the benefits?

We sat down with Sean Godier, VP of Business Supply to talk about their recent experience partnering with the Kids in Need Foundation.

Business Supply’s Partnership with The Kids In Need Foundation

The Kids In Need Foundation (KINF), a national non-profit allocates school supplies to schools without the means to acquire basic supplies such as pencils and crayons.

For every purchase made, Business Supply donates an item to a student in need.

“The way we set it up with KINF is that we’ll do a monthly shipment to an individual Resource Center. The first week of February, we expect to ship over 35,000 pencils to Classroom Central, the Resource Center in Charlotte, NC. They can’t wait, and neither can we!” – Sean

1. Choose A Charity That Fits with Your Business Identity.

Before you launch into your corporate social responsibility (CSR), think about what charity your company should support.

Which charity are you choosing and why? Do they have a connection to your business?

For Business Supply, Sean chose a company which aligns closely with Business Supply’s focus on school children both locally and nationally.

Why partner with the Kids in Need Foundation? What sparked your interest and how did the partnership come about?

“We had been working with a local non-profit called Crayons2Calculators who does the same things that KINF does. Since Business Supply is online and a national company, we wanted to expand our efforts nationwide to help areas where all of our customers reside. Choosing to work with KINF was a natural fit, as we have the core items to help them on a regular basis. They can’t ever keep up with the demand for the essentials—pencils, pens, paper, crayons, glue, etc.”- Sean

2. Be Clear with Your Customers About What is Being Donated and When.

Online Shoppers want to be socially responsible, but no one wants to be mislead. Be clear about what donation comes with their purchase.

Are you communicating what is being donated and when?

Business Supply does a really great job of highlighting what is donated to The Kids in Need Foundation, and when right on their homepage:

Socially Responsible Business hompeage

Online Shoppers who would like to learn more about the partnership can learn more details about it on this page.

This is also something which is also helpful to remind shoppers of to help reduce the barrier to conversions:
Corporate Charitable giving

3. Check Out The Charity

There are a lot of non-profits out there. You’re going to want to work with a charity which is reputable, especially since its going to be open to customer scrutiny.

How does your charity work?

Was it difficult getting the terms of the partnership worked out, or was the Kids in Need Foundation open to whatever help you could provide?

“It was actually very painless. Dave Smith (Executive Director) and his staff came highly recommended. After an intro from a mutual friend, we got rolling pretty quickly. KINF has been a fantastic partner so far—and we haven’t even delivered our first monthly shipment of product yet.” –Sean

Benefits of Social Responsibility

Marketing Benefits

Businesses which are socially responsible attract customers which share that type of an ideology. Working with charities creates an opportunity for your business to connect with your community members, both on and offline on a whole new plain.

This type of partnership seems like a win for all parties involved. Can you share a little on the response you’ve been receiving from your audience, from email responses from customers to any impact this partnership has had on your bottom line, to the number of items you’ve donated so far to the Kids in Need Foundation?

“Our customers absolutely love it! They know that we try really hard to make a difference to them, as well as our community. They’ve been really supportive, and they’ve done a great job of getting word of mouth out. We have new customers every day who choose to shop with us solely because of our KINF Partnership. As we deliver more and more goods to Resource Centers throughout the country, the word will spread—and this partnership will grow rapidly.”- Sean

Business Ideology

Socially responsible companies attract and inspire customers. What’s often also overlooked is that this same thing happens with your employees. Endorsing social responsibility is a great way to unite everyone under a common goal and establish company identity.

Takeaways:

If you work with a charitable organization make sure:

– It is a reputable charity and shares your company goals.
– To communicate what your business is donating whenever someone makes a purchase.

Companies which are socially responsible benefit by:

– Generating and connecting with customers.
– Cultivating company identity and uniting employee’s with the company ideology.

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