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As if the sheer joy of giving to others is not enough, it turns out philanthropic contributions can benefit you and your practice in myriad ways. Monetary donations, as well as volunteering, extend marketing reach and make any business a pillar of the community. Consider getting you and your employees involved in a charitable cause to give your practice, patients and personal gratification a boost.
Try these five winning strategies below to give back and get something back in return.
Last year, American corporations donated more than $18 billion to charitable causes. Although the desire to give back is one motivating factor, business donations are solely an act of generosity. In fact, charitable activities and donations can be a highly effective marketing technique. Philanthropy and volunteerism can improve your professional reputation, help acquire new patients and increase goodwill towards your practice.
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1. Extend your marketing reach with charitable giving
Charitable organizations understand there is high competition for donation dollars, and they reward their biggest supporters with promotion. Depending on the organization and the size of your contribution, you may receive advertisement on their website, social media, press announcements or during conferences or events. Some organizations have a very large membership, and most have a large support base, creating a significant audience for your marketing message.
2. Build your brand with long term support
Sponsoring a charitable fundraiser, or becoming a regular contributor to a certain cause, requires more investment and commitment than a one-time donation. It also has the potential for greater rewards. Your business name becomes associated with the charity, which increases brand awareness and goodwill.
Half of all consumers are willing to pay more for goods and services from a business that is doing good, be it environmentally or socially. This is especially important in dentistry because prospective patients are looking for more than just education and professional expertise. They want someone they can trust and who genuinely cares about others.
3. Make your practice a pillar of the community with volunteerism
Do you want to establish long-term patient relationships and encourage return visits? Show that you are invested in the community and that you care about your neighbors. Volunteerism and personal involvement also gives you the opportunity to meet people, gain new leads and make sure your name is well known in the community. Encourage your staff to volunteer as well to magnify the impact.
4. Smart giving starts with choosing the right cause
There is a virtually endless list of potential ways to give back, including great community programs, charities with noble missions and important causes. How do you choose which ones your practice should support? The first consideration is choosing something that aligns with your practice mission and that appeals to your target market.
Ask yourself which causes matter to your patients. Children’s charities or school programs are a good choice for family practices. Patients of holistic dentists tend to be health conscious and environmentally conscious. High-end practices seeking patients may want to consider supporting art galleries, upscale fundraisers and other causes that attract members with higher income levels.
5. Promoting your good deeds
Philanthropy will not turn into a marketing success unless people know about it. If you are making a sizable contribution, find out what you will get in return. Ask for details like where your practice logo will be displayed, how many members and mailing list subscribers the organization has, what their social and advertising reach is and how much recognition your practice will receive.
Finally, do not forget to incorporate your charitable activities in your own marketing. Consider adding a “giving back” page to your website, issuing press releases, including it in your newsletter and even in-office signage. Let existing and prospective patients know you support this great cause. When an organization thanks your practice on social media, be sure to share the posts to your own page.
It can feel wonderful to do something for the greater good — and even more so when it is also for the good of your dental practice.
About the Author:
Naren Arulrajah is President and CEO of Ekwa Marketing, a complete internet marketing company that focuses on SEO, social media, marketing education, and the online reputations of dentists. With a team of 140+ full time marketers, www.ekwa.com helps dentists who know where they want to go, get there by dominating their market and growing their business significantly year after year. If you have questions about marketing your practice online, call 855-598-3320 to speak one-on-one with Naren.Discover more Dentist’s Money Digest® news here.