Charitable Marketing

Many coaches overlook the marketing benefits of donating coaching sessions for use as auction items or prizes at at charity events. But with a little forethought and planning, giving away some coaching can actually be a win-win-win.

First and foremost, the charity wins by having a valuable service for participants to buy or win, without any impact to their already tight budget. The participant wins through the coaching experience itself – if they’re lucky, at a great price. And you also win – through the satisfaction of supporting a great cause – but also in several other ways:

  • Participants (whether they won your prize or not) will associate your brand with the cause you’re supporting, as well as with “giving back” in general.
  • Your business may be able to take the value of the session(s) as a tax deduction.
  • Winners could become full-paying clients, continuing beyond the session(s) you’ve donated.

Choosing an Event

Sometimes you can find great options by simply calling local charities and asking if they know of any benefit events which would be a good fit. Your local newspaper may have notices about upcoming events. You can also sign up for a free account on HARO. Although this site bills itself as a way for reporters to find experts to interview (which could be great for your business, too – but that’s another newsletter!), the HARO mailing list also receives numerous solicitations from charity benefit events seeking donations.

As you evaluate each donation opportunity, think about who is likely to participate. Who will this event attract? Are they in your target market? Would your “typical client” be interested in other prizes being offered?

Preparing Your Prize

While the financial value of your gift package is a charitable donation, remember that the prize itself will introduce your company to everyone attending the event. Even though you’re giving away services (non-tangible), take the time to assemble a physical gift package that represents your company well. For example, consider making a signed certificate and using a gift bag or other attractive packaging. Write a short congratulatory letter explaining what they’ve won and how to schedule with you. Don’t forget to include several brochures and business cards the winner can share with others.

Taking That First Step

While not a complete marketing strategy, participating in charity events can be a great way to increase exposure while you “pay it forward.” You’ll create a lasting impression on your community, and potentially, win new clients. All you need is a desire to contribute and a charity event to support. So, grab a newspaper or hit the internet. Start combing for your next charity auction today!

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