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Solar Brokers and Non Profits give back to the COMMUNITY through Cause Marketing.

Solar Brokering & Cause Marketing: Raising MONEY for charities

Hi folks.  Today I’m writing a bit off topic of solar brokering, and instead, focusing for a moment on how I can donate a portion of my earnings from solar brokered sales to charitable non profits within my community.  While I usually write about solar and the benefits of brokering for reducing buyer costs, today I’m writing about “how” I’ve been working hard to market my solar broker business with non profits to raise money for charities, while increasing my brand awareness and sales, which in turn, helps me donate money to charities.

The goal of this blog article is to encourage EVERYONE, but especially small businesses, to find ways to give back to their community, whether it’s through “cause marketing” or volunteerism.   This subject is heavy on my mind, as I’ve been delving into it for the past several months.  So, I thought I’d lend a little of my acquired wisdom to help other small businesses do the same.

So what is “cause marketing”?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nqTxRt3B6s

Here’s a sample text excerpt taken from an email I sent to one non profit.

My business is looking to partner with non profits; to find a UN-intimidating and Un-alienating way to reach your donors.  In essence, to help donors see the value in using our business services to raise money for your non profit.  When donors choose to use our money saving solar panel broker services to shop for solar, we are empowered to donate a portion of our sales profits to a affiliated charitable non profit, like yours!  The more your donors use our service, the more we donate to your non profit.

One conundrum that I’ve come across with non profits is that they are in need of financial support, but ironically, they have objections to collaborating.  Common objections I face are:

  • “It’s not our policy to send our donors marketing collateral to educate them about collaborations with a business to raise money”.
  •  It’s against the law for our non profit 501-c3 to solicit donors without having them opt-in to receiving marketing offers.
  • “We do not have time to create a cause marketing campaign to raise money”
  • “We strapped for staff and time.  We just really need the donations and the volunteers without having to collaborate to become self sustaining”.

What to do?

Thoroughly research the non profit with whom you want to engage.  Introduce yourself to the marketing director; who you are and why you are calling.  Ask for an interview prefaced around getting to better understand their fundraising challenges, limitations, and policies.

Be succinct with the non profit and tactfully approach them about a cause marketing campaign.  Ways to be prepared are simple if you use a little empathy and strategy; putting yourself in the non profits shoes.

Learn about what type of obstacles non profits face in fundraising and get an understanding of what it’s like for them to face these challenges.  A great marketing book for non profits is called, “Guerrilla Marketing for Non Profits”.  This book will help you glean what non profits are up against and what ideas of value you may be able to lend to their fundraising efforts.  

Read about “cause marketing” … learn how it works and when, where and why it’s utilized.  Another good read on this subject is a book called “Cause Marketing for Dummies”.

Develop a strategy to approach a non profit with your ideas and be prepared with a sample power point presentation, a copy of your marketing collateral which exemplifies your purpose in affiliating your business with their cause.  Literally paint a picture the association between you and the non profit.  Also, a short slideshow video which demonstrates how you and the non profit are collaborating to help raise money for the community will help show the non profit how “donors” will receive the marketing message.  

By using forethought to package your proposition, you will gain yourself valuable buy-in and a lot less resistance when you approach non profits with a cause marketing campaign idea.

 

Article written by Jennifer Coleman of Sun Source Solar Energy Brokers, providing solar brokering, brokerage, and solar energy consulting services in Santa Rosa, Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Solano and San Francisco Counties.  For more information, please visit www.SunSourceSolarBroker.com.

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Cotati, California 94931
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