Corporate giving is not only good for the soul, but can be very beneficial to the bottom line, according to experts who discussed the topic Friday at the BCW’s Tompkins Mahopac Bank Power Breakfast.
Jennifer Flowers, Founder & CEO of Accreditation Guru Inc., moderated the panel discussion at the Crowne Plaza in White Plains.
Panelists included Stephen DeMatteo, Executive Vice President of York International, Kris Foss, Managing Director of Ability Beyond; Karen Everett, Principal, Marketing Matters Ltd.; Peter Herrero, Owner NY Hospitality Group and Jennifer Ryan Safsel, Director of Development and Community Relations, Hope’s Door NY.
Takeaways from the experts included:
- Align your business goals. Karen Everett of Marketing Matters gave the example of Ford creating a 10-acre green roof at its Dearborn, Michigan plant, which underscored the company’s commitment to the environment. Since this is an issue that automakers grapple with regarding emissions, it was a great way to give back and boost the company’s image. “It was a great way to strategically align themselves with what could be a negative impact,’’ she said.
- Supply Chain. Your relationships can help your chosen non-profit. By reaching out to your vendors and associates to contribute or volunteer you can add value without always writing a check, said Kris Foss of Ability Beyond. “Ask other vendors to work with a non-profit. Buying power can help a non-profit get a better rate,’’ she said.
- Cause Related Marketing. Tying driving sales to doing good can create a direct correlation to the bottom line. Everett gave the example of eyeglass maker Warby Parker whose business model was to donate one pair of glasses for every pair purchased. By aligning themselves with Vision Care, an organization that gives free eye exams and glasses, the company boosted sales and their image, she said.
- Attracting Talent. Stephen DeMatteo of York International, which sells insurance products, said that by adding a Corporate Responsibilities page to their website they have been able to attract new employees and boost their image to potential clients.
- Networking. Peter Herrero, Owner NY Hospitality Group, said that the relationships he has developed as a result of the time he has volunteered to non-profits have been invaluable to his business. He pointed to his relationship with White Plains Hospital, which started with his willingness to advise them on their food services.