Giving in style: The power of corporate philanthropy

By Tyler Butler

Headshot by Peter Hurley

In today’s marketplace, companies must do more than just produce a top-quality product and provide world class customer service to be the best. Businesses and the brands they represent must act and share their stories about how they are making the world a better place for their employees, the environment and the communities where they operate. Corporate citizens are accountable not just to shareholders, but also to stakeholders such as employees, consumers, suppliers, local communities and society at large.

Customers yearn for much more than transactional relationships; they seek a deeper connection with a truly significant experience. Employees now more than ever look for purpose in their work and an authentic, caring company culture, they want to believe in what they do each day. And companies look for cooperative, transparent partnerships where they feel confident in what their business stands for.

Organizations that speak to this change by enhancing brand expectations increase their customer’s allegiance, build positive rapport, and eventually strengthen business and make positive change possible.

No matter the size of your company, community outreach can serve to enhance your brand, induce employee recruiting and retention and aid society in meaningful ways. By selecting nonprofit partners that not only jive with your brand and what your company does, but also serve to inspire your teams to make positive change possible any business can create innovative offerings that will benefit their company.

One such campaign that I took part in launching provides the perfect example of just how this can be done. Nowadays, everyone has heard of the Uber competitor Lyft. However, just a few short years ago most consumers were only familiar with the former brand. A large part of the reason that Lyft has now become a household name is their commitment to community and how they have activated campaigns that showcase their ethos.

Lyft looked at their leadership team and recognized that a key differentiator with their competitor was their diverse leadership team and their proclivity for giving back. So, it only made good sense that the brand went about activating sponsorships in communities for diversity-based organizations such as Pride.

Along with these types of local sponsorships they also started to consider nonprofit organizations and how they could serve as both a fundraising tool, as well as, aid in ensuring that their adult oriented events had safety top of mind. The brand implemented a series of activation codes, specific to local partners and events. The codes enabled new users to raise funds by simply installing the Lyft app and then gave a percentage of proceeds from these rides back to the cause, creating full circle partnerships that assisted causes, while keeping their supporters safe and showcasing their brand.

This example is a great case of how good corporate citizenship efforts can radically alter a brands visibility. A recent study by Cone Communications found that 88% of consumers were more likely to buy from a company that supports and engages in activities to improve society.  And 90% of U.S. consumers are likely to switch brands to one associated with a cause, given comparable price and quality. Lyft’s activation of community outreach is a prime example that Cone’s findings are not only true but also­­­­­­­­ thriving in today’s socially conscious society.

Corporate citizenship is much more tangible when you consider that a few core programs and principles can launch a very powerful piece to your business.  You can get a big bang for your buck by simply aligning your community outreach efforts to your business’s industry and company culture. Lyft’s programs that support valuable charity efforts is a prime example of how positively impacting society can and will boost your business and in the process aid with employee recruiting and retention, brand awareness and increase Thanks to these partnerships Lyft is now known as the conscientious ride share selection. The brand has educated the public about the benefits in choosing their product over other options and has proven that strategic corporate citizenship, done thoughtfully, can be successfully implemented without breaking the bank.

Implementing programs like this only need a savvy, strategic corporate citizenship expert to conceive and implement them. The team at 11Eleven Consulting is renowned for creating, launching and maintaining world class corporate citizenship programs. Reach us at www.11elevenconsulting.com

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Tyler Butler is a dynamic leader and creative thinker known as an expert corporate social responsibility practitioner, fashion zealot and community activist. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and her Master’s degree from the Boston College, Wallace E. Carroll Graduate School with a focus on Corporate Citizenship Management. Tyler is the Founder & Principal of 11Eleven Consulting, a boutique corporate social responsibility consulting firm focused on aiding companies that care.

Through 11Eleven, Tyler has led a team to impact positive change and awareness for campaigns engaging the entire transportation industry including companies like UTI, Nissan, Bridgestone, Shell and more. 11Eleven has also been instrumental in launching Lyft’s community fundraising efforts, Xtreme Canteen’s Round up campaigns and community outreach efforts for 2017 top HR tech startup, HR Company Store. Most recently Tyler has led a campaign, The Art of Fearlessly Giving Back, which is sharing the stories behind the giving efforts of WebPT. Tyler has formally led community engagement efforts for technology giants Microsoft & GoDaddy and is solely responsible for creating the globalstrategy and structure of GoDaddy’s employee engagement and giving efforts. Tyler is also the society and fashion contributor for Frontdoors media; her column and blog, Giving in Style, is a valley favorite and is gaining national acclaim and recognition. In addition to this work, Tyler serves on the board of trustees for the Arizona Science Center, the board of governors for the Greater Scottsdale Boys & Girls Clubs, the Arizona Governor’s Commission for Service & Volunteerism and the advisory council for AZ BIG MEDIA’s Business Angels Magazine and for Scottsdale Leadership. Tyler is a kindness crusader and dedicated change maker who is making a positive difference both professionally and personally.

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