Hungry. Some of your best customers and employees are hungry. Not for food but for experiences that offer–
This hunger is for meaning. When we get fed, we’re nourished for our work and lives. When we feed others, their connection to us and our brand grows stronger.
What Kinds of Nonprofit-Business Activities Fulfill this Hunger?
Opportunities where customers and employees step out of routines, learn something different, hear good news, and meet others. Here are several unusual examples to adapt to reflect your firm’s values.
One of the many benefits of leadership programs across the country is the access they provide to invisible-in-our-daily-life processes, jobs, and facilities. For example, a class may visit a manufacturing plant. Many nonprofits also offer tours. Most blood donors have no idea what happens to their blood after its extracted during your yearly blood drive. Tip: On any visit, ask probing questions to break-through the regular tour talk.
Another opportunity, often overlooked, but available for the asking, involves nonprofit expertise. Use experts for keynotes, panelists, or for interactive events, to participate with other attendees. Imagine your business is housing construction. For a staff event, your organize a panel of from several nonprofits that deal with housing issues to learn how they solve or crack industry challenges. Your personnel learns about the solutions and the nonprofits. The visiting experts recruit volunteers or perhaps challenge your staff to team day. For your home-purchase candidates, you organize a panel of staff and nonprofit experts to discuss the impact of local building codes on construction. Your customers will walk away informed, connected, and more confident about you.
If you fund programs to prevent child abuse, you won’t get an eyewitness report from a nonprofit’s client. Instead, if you invite a counselor or someone served as a child, you’ll hear stories that provide insights about why your support matters. In a Harvard Business Review article, The Irresistible Power of Storytelling as a Strategic Business Tool, Harrison Monarth writes, “A story can go where quantitative analysis is denied admission: our hearts. Data can persuade people, but it doesn’t inspire them to act; to do that, you need to wrap your vision in a story that fires the imagination and stirs the soul.”
Try one of these approaches. Email me to let me know how it goes. For more ideas, read Should You Say Yes? Build These Five Criteria in Events Before Volunteering Your Employees. You will learn how to create appropriate and fun opportunities that generate hope, insight, and connection.