I see it all the time, small business owners are some of the most generous people out there, in many cases, way more generous than they can really afford to be. Small business is where the kids go to get their ball team backing, it’s where many groups go to when they’re fundraising. Why? Because it’s where they get the best response.

It’s that time of year aka ‘The Season of Giving’ where you’ll be getting plenty of requests for money, gifts, donations and more.

You can support your favorite charity even better than before and NOT have it hurt your bottom line. You could even have it improve your bottom line if…it’s done right!

Here’s the thing, and I know I may sound like a broken record here, but when you do a fundraiser it should be done from a win/win perspective. If you can, tie in the funds that you’re going to donate to sales so that the more business you do, the more you’re able to donate. You don’t donate unless it’s tied to sales.

The more business you do, the more you’re able to donate.

To be really successful, take ownership

If you want that fundraiser to “really” be successful, you need to take ownership of the fundraiser in your business. What I mean is that you can’t just sit on the sidelines and casually participate.  If you get involved with Toys For Tots, don’t just be a drop off point with the signage; make it your fundraising program. For everyone new who comes in, you’ll donate $xx  to Toys For Tots, or for everyone who spends over $xx you’ll donate $xx to Toys For Tots.ToysForTots-storage

If you’re collecting for the food bank, give everyone who brings in a donation a discount on their purchase or on ________. [you fill in the blank]

Let people know that you’re doing your part to make it successful, not just collecting for them.

Keep them updated as to progress  — ”We’ve collected over xx number of toys for the Toys For Tots program and our donation is up to $xx thanks to everyone who has purchased or come in for during the month of November/December.”

Send emails out with pictures of the donations (a big collection of donated toys), tell how many pounds of food you’ve collected so far, put it in your newsletter, have the donations where everyone can see them.

To really make it a win/win, have more than a casual role, take ownership. Do what you can to get your staff on board and get them to tell everyone they know. Ask them for ideas.

Here’s another strategy that could really put your business on the map and make your fundraiser one of the most successful ever –

Send out a press release and let all of the media know about the fundraiser. Make sure the emphasis is on the fundraiser and not on your business.

I recently had a client do just that and received FREE publicity from radio, TV and newspapers, more than one in each category, resulting in plenty of new business he would not otherwise have had access to.

I addressed this and much more at the Business and Entrepreneur Success Extravaganza in September. If you’d like to hear the presentation and the presentations from our guest speakers, James Malinchak from ABD TV’s Secret Millionaire Show, Donna Krech and Sales Guru Steve Clark, go to www.ClevelandMarketingSummit.com to find out how you can get the recordings of the whole 2 day event!