Four steps to choosing a charity of the year for 2024.

Suppose your agency’s New Year’s Resolution is going to be increasing your work in the community. In that case, choosing a charity/ community group of the year is an excellent way to start.

It is simple to set up, easy to manage, and, when done correctly, can make a real difference to people who need it.

These Daily Ideas contain all you need to know about choosing your charity and how to create content and positive PR for your agency.

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How to Choose a Charity / Community Group of the Year (COTY)– Part One

Every December, we announce a charity or community group we’ll support the following year.

In 2021, it was a local homeless support charity. In 2022, it became Wolo, an organisation that helps families affected by cancer across Sussex.

For 2023, we committed to supporting a girls’ football team in Crawley.

Next year, we’re committing to donating to local all-inclusive football teams run by the fantastically community-minded Seaford Town Football Club.

We’ve never done this to get a commercial return, but for some reason, it always pays off personally and professionally.

1) Work out your why and how: If this idea interests you, sit down with your team and think about why it does. And look to support causes you feel drawn to. We chose homelessness, cancer care, and sports because we feel passionate about these areas.

Yours could be a youth group, animal sanctuary, sports team, disability, you name it.

Once you’ve discovered your why, you must think about how you’ll do it.

With us, we commit to a regular monthly donation of £150 per month.

But for your agency, it could be support linked to monthly transactions or a series of fundraising events.

Just don’t make the offer too small, as this can have a negative PR response.

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Following yesterday’s advice on choosing a charity/community group of the year, here’s part two (of four).

So, you’ve decided you want to get involved with a local charity/community group in 2024.

The next step is to find the best organisation to work with. We know from our experience that some groups are more accessible and more rewarding to work with than others.

Part 2) Research groups online before you commit to supporting them. We asked on Facebook forums for community groups, sports clubs and charities doing good local work. Doing this as a business also lets people know you want to support the community you serve.

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Choosing a Charity / Community Group of the Year

Following yesterday’s advice on choosing a charity/community group of the year, here’s part three (of four).

This idea focuses on what to look for from any group you seek to support.

3) So, you’ve asked on social media for nominations from your community. Now, create a shortlist of two or three options. Then arrange a chat with them. This point is crucial because you want to feel a connection and rapport with the people involved in the charity/group. Remember, you aren’t committing to anything at this point in the process.

We looked for four fundamental things from past groups we’ve supported as our COTYs were:

· It was easy to arrange an initial phone call.

· They replied promptly to our invitation.

· They have a website and social media presence.

· During that first phone call, we sensed if we could work with them and if they shared our values. If not, we took it no further.

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Here’s the fourth and final idea on how your agency can choose and work with a charity/community group of the year in 2024.

So you’ve asked your audience, done your research, whittled down your shortlist and chosen the group you want to support.

But what’s in it for you?

In our own experience of doing this for the past four years, there’s the feelgood factor, the positive PR it generates and expanding your network in places you may never have thought possible.

Below are ways you can promote your support.

Part 4) Working with a dedicated charity for 12 months gives your efforts a focus. And it creates plenty of content and PR opportunities if you do it right.

These opportunities include:

· Social media posts around the initial search for a group to support.

· A news release, photo and social media posts announcing the partnership. The people behind the charity/group posts – think of these like your Meet the Team sections.

· Video content about the charity/group and why you support them.

· Using your channels to share their news.

· Promote on your website, email signatures, and marketing materials.

And many more creative ways to mutually benefit from the partnership.

So, what’s stopping you from working with a local charity/community group next year?

If you have any questions about how to do this, message me via Whats App at 07725 554902 or by replying to this email.

Good luck. Go make a difference.