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How to Market Your Social Impact Program [Cause Marketing Basics]

Joel Pollick
Posted by  Joel Pollick on Sep 17, 2021
Many companies have social impact programs but are losing the great marketing opportunity that enhances and grows their business. From job listings to social media posts, learn how to market your social impact to reach and engage all stakeholders. 
 
4 minute read
Why market your social impact program?
When companies are on the same playing field as competitors,--product, price, promotion, etc.--companies who make a positive social impact have a step up. By taking a stand and becoming relatable, companies with a positive social impact engage their community more.
 
To simply put it, people care. It is a lost opportunity if your social impact program isn’t being communicated and connected to the people who care. For statistical proof:
 
Today’s talent cares... 
  • Employee Attraction - 64% say they won’t take a job from a company that doesn’t have strong CSR practices (Cone 2016)
  • Employee Engagement - 71% say it is either imperative or very important to work where culture is supportive of giving and volunteering (America's Charities Snapshot Employee Donor Research)
  • Employee Retention - 83% say they would be more loyal to a company that helps them contribute to social and environmental issues (Cone 2016)
Today’s consumer cares too...85% say they would switch brands to one associated with a cause (Cone 2015)
 
What to market about your social impact program? 
To get to the ‘why’ we just mentioned, you must have the story and data-- the ‘what.' 
 
To start, social impact programs need to tell a story. They need an identity that aligns with your company’s mission. Without a story, your community (the ‘who,’ below) won’t be engaged or relate to your company’s positive social impact. So the first step is to define your social mission and integrate it with your company’s mission and values. 
 
Next, the data. It is very easy to make a positive social impact, but oftentimes, it’s challenging to measure it. Without a measured performance, you can’t tell the story or leverage your social impact. Your second step is to measure your impact (total volunteer hours, dollars donated, impact, etc.), then you can easily show and market the success on the ‘why’ of your program.
 
Storytelling and data collection can be the most difficult part of marketing your social impact program. That’s why Percent Pledge measures and shares the stories of our customers’ social impact programs monthly through impact stats and impact stories. Want to learn more? Request a demo here.
 
Who is this marketing for? 
In short, every one of your stakeholders. But if helpful, we’ve laid out some of the key ones below:
  • Customers (B2B and/or B2C)
  • Employees (Current and/or Prospective)
  • Partners (Current and/or Prospective)
  • Investors/Board Members/Advisors
Where to market your social impact program?
There are three main places to educate stakeholders about your social impact programs:
  1. Your Website
  2. Job Websites
  3. Social Media
Note: This blog intentionally leaves out certain forms of Cause Marketing that are only relevant to very large enterprises. If you want examples of these, just turn on your TV and pay attention during a commercial break...every single commercial now is a cause marketing campaign! 
 
How to market your social impact program?
We’ve laid all that out below and coded these action items to reflect the table stakes items everyone should do, as well as the items that would take your cause marketing efforts above & beyond!
 
1. Your Website
Add your social impact to:
Careers and/or Culture Pages Table Stakes
 
Job Descriptions (include in your Perks & Benefits section) Table Stakes
 
Footer Links Above & Beyond
example
Footer link example
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
CSR Pages Above & Beyond
example
CSR page example
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
2. Job Websites
Listed below are job websites with items that should be marked in your job listings (Table Stakes) and include descriptions (Above & Beyond) based on your social impact program’s benefits. 
 
Built-In: 
  • Volunteer in Local Community
  • Partners with Nonprofits
  • Intracompany Committees (e.g. Employee Resource Groups (ERGs))
  • Match Charitable Contributions 
  • Paid Volunteer Time
  • Diversity ERGs
Glassdoor:
  • Volunteer Time Off
  • Charitable Gift Matching
Comparably:
  • Happiness Score
  • Work Culture Score
  • Office Culture Score
  • Retention Score
  • Environment Score
  • Millennials (section)
  • Volunteer Time Off
  • PTO Donation
Table Stakes (benefits included in listing)
example
Job website Built-In example
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Above & Beyond (combine table stakes with descriptions)
example 
Job website Built-In example
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3. Social Media
Shown below are examples of Percent Pledge customers marketing their company’s impact on LinkedIn. To reach Table Stakes, we suggest sharing your impact quarterly on social media. To go Above & Beyond, we recommend monthly posts engaging your community and making your company more relatable. 
Social media example
 
If you want to dive deeper into marketing or enhancing your social impact program, email our social impact experts at contact@percentpledge.org.
 
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Joel Pollick

Written by Joel Pollick

Founder & CEO @ Percent Pledge. Expert in workplace giving, volunteering, and employee engagement for fast-growing companies.

Learn how you can make, measure, and market your social impact program with Percent Pledge.