Doing Well By Doing Good
and Why It's Effective
By Laura Laaman
The pet care industry is filled with people who want to “do good”. They want to surround themselves and care for furry creatures who can’t talk. These owners feel that caring for furry creatures is a good thing to do and therefore doing so provides a fulfilling and rewarding existence. Extending that perspective into a cause-related marketing program is an effective way to make a positive impact on the world and boost your bottom line.
“Doing well by doing good”, or cause-related marketing, isn’t a new concept. Supporting the community and partnering with charities is smart business and a win-win venture on so many levels. But maximizing your impact by creating a strategic and well-thought-out plan is the key to success.
Steps to Selecting and Helping Other Groups:
Choose a charity that you and your staff are passionate about. My father was a WWII veteran and helped spur my passion about canines that serve in the war. I presented this cause to my Outstanding Pet Care clients and to date, they have collectively raised over $100,000.
Research and align yourself with a reputable charity. Spend a bit of time online and research charities. There are numerous online, free services that will provide you with objective comparisons on a charity’s mission, goals, financial position, and leadership. GuideStar, for example, is one that states, “We gather and disseminate information about every single IRS-registered nonprofit organization. We provide as much information as we can about each nonprofit’s mission, legitimacy, impact, reputation, finances, programs, transparency, governance, and so much more.” Spending a bit of time to understand the legitimacy and performance of a charity is time well spent. You would hate to recommend a charity with a tainted image.
Choose a charity that will resonate with your target audience. Animal-related non profits are a logical choice, but consider human–animal groups like organizations supporting service animals or pet therapy. You can also go outside of the pet industry if there is a worthy charity that catches you or your team’s attention.
Think outside the box. Go beyond simply accepting donations, sponsoring an event, or reserving ad or booth space. Get involved. Offer behavior counseling for a local shelter and ask if you can put brochures or coupons in their adoption packets; host a spa day once a week for a rescue dog makeover, etc. Consider offering assistance painting a worthy group’s new addition. These provide a great benefit to the charity and a wonderful team-building exercise.
Share your “good news” and charitable endeavors. Share your success stories with the media as well as social media platforms, place signage in your lobby, and ask if your partnering organization can do the same. Sharing the “good news” with your database of customers can help bring additional awareness to this worthy cause.
Look at the great work foundations have accomplished. The Gates Foundation, for example, started by Microsoft owner Bill Gates, explains that it works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and gives them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. They have already provided over $36 billion to recipients.
In our industry, major pet retailers do their best to make a difference. PetSmart Charities and the Petco Foundation both sponsor adoption events and they’re reported to have placed more than 400,000 dogs and cats in new homes.
Of course, these are huge retail businesses but they are able to speak to and connect with customers on an emotional and local basis. The good that these foundations have done and will do would not have been possible without first creating a great company.
Remember, You’re Already a Job Creator
Since this business is so dependent on staff, my clients often add staff to handle their increased demand and success. Not to worry, these staffing additions are more than paid for by the increased business we’ve created. Since I’ve started Outstanding Pet Care, my clients have added thousands of jobs to their local economies. I believe this is one of the best contributions we can make. Employment adds meaning, fulfillment, and dignity to people’s lives while allowing them to provide for themselves and their families. Taking a job in this industry also means the privilege of working with pets. However, in order to hire the right people, pay them what they deserve and give them opportunities for advancement; you need to have a healthy, successful business.
The fact that this industry is filled with such caring and giving people is wonderful. I take great satisfaction watching my clients serve pets, their humans, staff, and community. When done right, business can be highly rewarding and morale-boosting for yourself and staff. Is there a better win-win?
Laura Laaman is president of Outstanding Pet Care. OPC helps some of the most successful pet care facilities thrive in highly competitive markets and GUARANTEES THEIR CLIENT’S SUCCESS! If you would like to receive a complementary phone evaluation, contact the OPC team at www.OutstandingPetCare.com or call 1-888-735-5667.