We see the commercials, advertisements and websites all the time. For ever dollar you donate, we (insert company name here) will match up to a certain amount. If we get 100,000 likes on Facebook, we’ll donate X dollars to charity. If you enter codes, found on the inside of our packaging, on our website, we’ll save a panda (or other random animal). The essence of each is the same, buy our products, subscribe to us on Facebook. It isn’t about the good that is being done, the charity that is being helped or how many people are helped. It is about putting a company in a good light instead but also getting you to view their website or buy their project.
Isn’t it about time that these companies discover a different way to be seen in a positive light? How about not requiring anyone to watch a three minute intro on a website simply to enter an eight digit code, only to have to try again and again because the code is difficult to read? How about not cluttering up your facebook threads by inane posts from a company asking which of their products you prefer to use?
How about simply donating the money? Don’t make a big fuss about doing it. Don’t hold a press conference, don’t make an commercial boasting about how wonderful your company is. Just donate the money. Let your employees know what you are doing though. They will feel better about the company and hopefully feel as if they are contributing as well. No money spent on advertising, no time wasted in meetings to decide which font to use, less money spent planning, more money donated.
The whole idea about charity is to help others less fortunate than ourselves, not to use it as an opportunity to make us look good. To be fair there are companies, some very large ones, who do follow the quietly donate and don’t make a fuss route. If you look on their websites you can usually find information on what they do but it isn’t shouted from the rooftops. It doesn’t make these companies superior or better. It just means they have their priorities in the right order.
Have you ever changed brands or picked a certain product because of their donations to charity? Avoiding a company because they don’t announce that they give millions to people in need?
There are so many ways that the man on the street can help charities quietly. Donating clothes to Inn out of the Cold, or in the summer the Diabetes organization. Donate money through legitamate websites. There is always something suspicious about people canvasing door to door for charity so when in doubt, the website is the better way to do it.
Ask yourself a simple question. Would it be better to be known as the person who donates money and/or clothes to charity, or just an average person who feels good inside?