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EPISODE 37: Messaging a Give-Back Strategy

by Jun 8, 2021Messaging, Podcast

In this episode we will cover:

  • Reasons brands hesitate to discuss their giveback strategy
  • Why talking about giving back isn’t taboo
  • How to align your messaging and values with a cause
  • How giveback campaigns benefit your business, your audience, and your cause
  • Where you can talk about your giveback campaign

Did you know 90% of consumers want to know how companies support charitable causes?

And yet, we hear from clients all the time that they’re hesitant to talk about their giveback campaigns. They don’t want to sound like they’re bragging, or accidentally distract from their core messaging strategy.

But talking about your giveback campaign actually benefits everyone: your business, your audience, and your chosen cause!


In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The most common reasons brands hesitate to discuss their giveback strategy.
  • Why talking about giving back isn’t taboo.
  • How to align your messaging and values with a cause.
  • The ways giveback campaigns benefit your business, your audience, and your cause.
  • Where you can talk about your giveback campaign in your content.

Remember, if you don’t talk about your company’s giving, people will have to assume you’re not giving at all! 

Need help finding a cause that aligns with your business and values? Email contact@northstarmessaging.com to be added to the waitlist for our next training on finding a nonprofit that matches your brand!

You can also learn more about North Star’s giveback campaign here.



Welcome to the Brand Your Voice Podcast, where we’re digging into how you can create personality-driven content that connects and converts. I’m Jessi…

…and I’m Marie. We’re the co-founders of North Star Messaging + Strategy, where we support business owners in outsourcing content without sacrificing authenticity.

Every brand has a unique voice that sets it apart. We're digging into how to capture the way your brand communicates from the words you use to the stories you tell. So you can create more compelling content that strategically helps you meet your business goals.

And if you choose to outsource that content, you'll be able to do so with confidence, knowing your brand voice is in good hands and you can reclaim your time. We're so glad you're here and hope you enjoy this episode.

Hello, Marie here for an episode of the Brand Your Voice Podcast. I am doing a solo episode today because this is a topic I am obsessed with, and this is all about messaging your give back strategy. So a lot of our clients are very passionate about leveraging their business to help make a difference in the world, in their community, in their client's lives. And they want, they know that they can probably make a bigger impact through their company than they can individually, because that's probably where the revenue is. That's where their audience is, and that's where the potential for collaboration is. But it is not at all uncommon for us to have clients tell us during their brand voice intensive that they have like this secret desire to make a difference or that they already do, but they just have no idea how to talk about it. They don't know how to connect it to their broader messaging.
They're also worried about like, Hey, if I talk about this, am I going to sound like I'm bragging? Is this going to be like, kind of gross and uncomfortable? There's this like really strong desire to give without being public about it. So these are really common frustrations and if you're experiencing them, you're not alone. And I first want you to know that. But I really want you to consider the idea that philanthropy is talk aboutable. There's a lot of reasons for it and I'm going to talk through the reasons, but ultimately when you discuss your giving back within your messaging, this can strengthen your message overall. It can really display your values. It can give you credibility and it can make you more attractive to work with because you're attracting like-minded clients.
So I want to dive into a little bit about how to do this. And the first step really is to identify or sink back into your brand's values. So if you've gone through a brand voice process with us or anyone else, or on your own, sink back into those. What are those values? Because that's really going to inform your giving back strategy. And if you don't already have one, then I encourage you to identify a cause that shares and furthers those values. If you do already have a cause that you're aligned with but you're just not talking about it, The next thing is to figure out what is the intersection between your values and the work that this cause this nonprofit, whatever it is is doing in the world, right? Where if you can imagine like a Venn diagram with like your values in the circle on the left and the work that the nonprofits doing on the right, what is the center of that?
That's the ticket for your messaging, because that's really going to allow you to align the two causes. Now, if you're trying to figure out how do I identify a cause or like a bajillion causes out there, how do I find one that actually is aligned with my messaging beyond just kind of like the basic non-profits you always hear about.
I have created an entire training on this and, what I would like for you to do is please just email me at contact@northstarmessaging.com. I will get you added to a waitlist for the next time. This training is offered so that you can be the first to know and sign up, because not only do I talk in that training about, you know, how to select a cause that aligns with your values, but like how to select a nonprofit that's actually reputable, that is willing to have a relationship with you over the long-term. What do you do if this, you know, are you worried about like scandals within the organization? Like I talk about all that. It's like way more than we have time to get into in today's podcast episode. And it has, you know, slide decks where you can like see all the places I'm doing research. So just shoot me an email at contact@northstarmessaging.com, if you want more information about that.
Anyway, so getting back to steps that you can take today more easily, right? Next, I want you to take a look at how you're feeling about being public, about talking about your giving back. Are you feeling uncomfortable about it? If so, why? Here's some reasons that I think are pretty common, right? So you're afraid that like maybe some members of your audience might not agree with you on your chosen cause, and you might lose some people. It feels like bragging, which is taboo. It's like, Oh, this is kind of icky. I don't really want to like talk myself up here, like how much I'm giving. Right. Maybe you've been socialized not to talk about money a whole lot. And so literally any capacity in which you're talking about money, that's uncomfortable. You could worry that actually spotlighting the organization could take away from your own goals, right? Your own revenue that's could be a legitimate fear, right? Like if I really put a big spotlight on my cause, is that going to mean that my clients then don't have the money to spend with me? I want them to do both. Right. You don't have to bother anyone. You kind of worry that like, just in general, your voice in this area is just kinda going to be a frustration, a bother. Or you feel like you don't really have a solid giving strategy yet and so you kind of want to like, have everything like all clean and tied up before you go talking about it. Right.
I hear you, all of these are completely valid concerns. And I don't think, you know, if any of these or other reasons is what's holding you back, you know, that you're being unreasonable. And also I'm going to give you some food for thought, because when you talk about charitable giving through your company, there are a lot of benefits for everyone. So obviously there's benefits for the charity that you are supporting, right? It increases awareness that they exist. It can create partnership opportunities for them. There could be a snowball effect of donations and volunteerism that can really help them achieve their mission. And you can also help them be better equipped to fulfill their programs and to serve the people that they're serving.
There's also benefits for your audience, right? You're normalizing the discussion of charitable involvement and giving, right. You're making that a little bit less taboo. You're helping them learn about, and maybe even get involved with a really cool cause that maybe they weren't even aware of. And it helps them better understand and trust your company as well as the nonprofit organization. So then I want to talk about benefits for you, for your company. So a not only are you talking about your values, but you step out of the performative into actually embodying them, you're taking action. You're putting your money where your mouth is, right. This really can help you have a lot more credibility. You're also going to attract more people who share your values. So people who, yeah, there may be people who are repulsed by what you're saying.
For example, I don't really understand why somebody would hate trees, but one of the organizations that we support too, is the national forest foundation, because we are concerned about the environment and we want to leverage the work that we do to create a healthier planet. And so maybe somebody is like, you know, I hate nature. Yeah, sure. We might repulse them with, with our giving back. Right. But at the end of the day, like, I, I don't know if I, like, if you hate trees, then maybe you're just going to hate me. And I don't know if we're a great fit. So, you know, I'm not too concerned about it, honestly, at the end of the day. And I mean, I say that about something that's pretty benign, but even if it's something that is maybe a bit more niche, right. That's okay, too, right? Like don't, you want to work with people who share your broad values, like your most deeply held values.
You're also going to inspire others to discuss their giving and make it part of their messaging too. You're going to create safety in this idea that this can be discussed, right? This idea that philanthropy is talk aboutable. You can also gain potential marketing and PR opportunities. I am passionate about this subject because I spent eight years as a professional grant writer before and during doing this work. And so I've been on the nonprofit side of things, and I can tell you that there are, there can be perks to donating to corporate giving. Obviously yes, you want to give because you care. And also there are opportunities for PR and marketing, right? So another organization that North Star supports is called big city mountaineers and they support marginalized youth and having transformative leadership experiences in the outdoors. They mentor these youth and give them leadership experience.
Right. And so there's perks, right? If you donate to them at a certain level, then you're going to get a press release. You're going to get your name on their website. You can be featured in their social media, right. Like, yeah, sure. I guess you could say it's pay to play, but like you are paying into something you believe in any way. So it really is a win-win right. You can also explore partnership possibilities. So maybe there's a nonprofit that is doing work, that's aligned with you. Right? So for instance, one of our clients is a coach who supports primarily women who've undergone really challenging experiences and trauma, and she helps them in her words, bounce forward. By the way, her name is coach Monaye Mercia and you should definitely check her out. She's amazing. Um, and her first name is spelled M O N A Y E.
But not only is she doing this with one-on-one clients, but she's also partnering with local nonprofits and other nonprofits to support women who are formerly incarcerated. Right. And so the work that she's doing can benefit the non-profit, the people that the nonprofit serves and it's for the aligned, with the work that she's doing. Right. You can of course enjoy some tax and financial benefits to donating, right? Like, that's great. I don't feel this is cheating. This is the government rewarding us for being good citizens. Right. You can also, because you're talking about it, hire employees who are aligned with your values and you can onboard clients who are aligned with your values. I also found a statistic in prepping for this episode that 85% of consumers actually have a more positive image of companies that give to charities. So this is only going to boost, you know, the way people think about you and rightly so, right.
And there's more leadership opportunities, right? Maybe you could serve on their board or on a committee. These are opportunities for you to really stand up in your leadership and support that, or have members of your team do the same. Right? And I want you to know that 90% of consumers, I also found this little tidbit, 90% of consumers want to know how companies are supporting charitable causes. And if you don't talk about the fact that you are, then they will assume that you are not. So talk about it because 90% of consumers want to know they care. This is I think, really encouraging, right? Like people care about the work that charities are doing and the good work that various NGOs and nonprofits are doing around the world. And the more that corporations, companies, partnerships, whatever you are, are supporting them in that work, I think the better our world is, right.
So let's get back to how do we actually message this? So it was like what I was talking about before finding that intersection between your brand's values and your chosen cause, right? So where's the center of the Venn diagram. And so then I encourage you to discuss your giveback strategy all over the place, right? Your website, whether on your homepage, your about page, or like a dedicated giveback page. In your emails! This can be in your nurture sequence, your email footer campaign emails, newsletters. It doesn't matter anywhere, right? Social media. This could be your posts, your highlights stories. You can have a whole campaign of social media posts about donations. It can be in your blog, your podcast, you can include it in your episode content, your outros, your CTS. You can actually include this information in your sales proposals and contracts, just to remind those prospective clients that by working with you, they're helping make the world a better place and getting all their needs met. Right? You can put on your sales page, put in your FAQ's. You can talk about it in media features and interviews, right? There's sort of no end to the places where you can talk about it. But the key is really finding that intersection of values between your brand and the cause.
So my homework for you today is to start somewhere, right? You don't have to do all these things. This is overwhelming. We're not doing all these things, and I'm very passionate about this, right? We're working up to it. So figure out sort of where you are in the process. Are you sort of in that place where you want to start, but don't know where to start? Are you in the place where you have a strategy, but it's not feeling as strategic as you want it to be? Are you giving back generously, but you're not talking about it, right? Sort of where are you? And then think about what the next step is from there. Aand that right there is going to make a difference. Remember all those benefits for the organization, for your clients and for you. You're not leaving money on the table because you're doing what you want to do with the money. And you're helping create a better world. But what you are doing is leaving opportunities on the table to help create that snowball effect of giving back and making the discussion of philanthropy, less taboo.
So I hope this has been an inspiring episode for you. And again, please feel free to reach out to us via email contact@northstarmessaging.com. If you want a little bit more guidance in terms of how to choose a cause that's a great fit for your organization. We'll make sure that you're on the wait list for the next time that training is offered. All right, take care.
Thanks for joining us for this episode of the Brand Your Voice Podcast. Make sure to visit our website, Northstarmessaging.com, where you can subscribe to the show on iTunes, Spotify, and more.

If you found value in this episode, we'd love for you to leave us a review on iTunes and share it with your friends. Thank you and happy content creating.

For additional content strategy and branding tips, check out northstarmessaging.com/blog. Also, please tag us on Instagram and let us know you’re out there! @northstarmessaging 

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