Can you imagine a world where every single person was working for a cause or had created a cause they were working for? Can you imagine if every day we went to work, we knew we were making a difference?
Unfortunately, for many, life leads us to a place where even though we are doing what we are good at, we are not necessarily feeling fulfilled in the work place. Happiness is no longer about just achieving success, many of us are searching for ways in which we can bring more meaning into our lives, and find a deeper sense of fulfilment.
This is where community give back comes in. The more we serve others, the happier we feel, and the more connected to ourselves we become. In the eternal words of Gandhi: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” We give back because it teaches us to find compassion within ourselves and to stay attached to values that are linked to the common good. We are now searching for ways to give back and feel more connected to the community; the age of ‘social change’ and ‘social change marketing’ is evolving as we speak.
We are clearly heading into a time where a more meaningful approach to marketing is not only necessary, it is inevitable. Many large corporations and small businesses alike, are choosing to weave the magic of social change into their marketing campaigns and be seen to do business for the greater good. The most recent example is seen on a Coles TV advertisement, where Curtis Stone promotes a product in which .50c is donated to kids who are in hospital; upon each sale.
What was once a huge divide, between non-for profit organisations and companies geared for profit, is becoming increasingly smaller by the day. It just so happens that doing good in business has been proven to increase the bottom line for many companies and their share holders.
Not only is social change marketing an intelligent marketing avenue, it is one of necessity for the survival of brands, because in a competitive world, the brand who tells the best story will always win.
Some businesses choose to develop their very own cause, while others feel inspired by initiatives close to home that support others in their local community.
Some of the ways you choose to contribute may be by supporting local growers at the farmers market. You may volunteer at the local sports club or donate a hamper to those in need, every Christmas. You may choose to spend a holiday volunteering overseas.
How you choose to contribute does not really matter, all that matters is that you contribute where you feel best and in a capacity you can manage. It is not so much what you do for the community, it is the way in which you choose to do it. If the authenticity is lost, so will the meaning, and the message you choose to share.
When interviewed, MasterCard Foundation Scholars involved in an International Day of Service on Saturday, November 7th, spoke of why they take the time to give -back to their communities. Some of the comments follow:
Giving back to my community is my responsibility. And even beyond that, is a great privilege to serve the amazing people who make my life beautiful each day.
Giving back builds hope — and when there is hope there is always a future.
My community laid the foundation on which I am solidly built. Giving back is my offering, my thank you.
What ever the reason you choose to give back is, find that reason and write it down. Does it help you get out of bed in the morning? Will it bring more meaning into your life? If you are not feeling a sense of fulfilment with your chosen approach to going back to the community, think again. You deserve to benefit from your contribution and feel uplifted in the process.
Here are 3 important things to consider when choosing to support a cause and align this cause with your business model.
1. Choose a product that fits within your industry; choose to spend more consciously when gifting.
There are many great products, designed to help create social change. The brand Thankyou is a great example of this. Curated exclusively for Real Estate Agents, Thankyou have designed a life-changing Settlement Gift set. This six-piece set includes some of Thankyou’s most-loved products to create the perfect welcome for any family into their new home. The best part? By choosing Thankyou, you help get safe water and sanitation to people in need around the world!
2. Aim to bring a give-back goal into your business model
You can always share the amount you are aiming to contribute, however you cannot announce the number of homes you are looking to sell.
For example. If you choose to donate a Backpack Bed for Homeless every time you list and sell a property, you can weave a goal of donating a certain number of Backpack beds every year and share this with your audience.
3. Understand the story behind your cause
By choosing an inspiring initiative, you will have a great story to tell your audience. Not only will you be encouraging others to give back, you will feel great about the message you share.
Supporting a cause will reflect your core values and help you create a deeper rapport.
For example, Have you heard of KOCO - Knit One Change One?
Founder, Danielle Chiel, is changing the lives of unskilled women in the villages in Southern India. She is training them to knit and creating jobs to keep them employed so they can help support their families and live a more empowered life. Danielle’s team of women knit jumpers for her brand as well as beautiful Christmas baubles and novelty token bees. Sharing a gift like this, any time of the year, provides a unique way to show you care as well as give you a great story to share.
Gifting a hand-knitted Christmas bauble is a great idea around Christmas time. Presented beautifully with the story of social change enclosed, the recipient will be well aware of the product value, and can also enjoy feeling that they have been part of helping to create social change.
On a personal note, my level of contribution is helping to encourage social change through effective marketing techniques and creating a ripple effect, within society, that can be felt far and wide. That takes me to my happy place and brings more meaning into my world.
If you have chosen to read this blog, and you have made it this far, you are most probably one of the many I spoke of earlier in this blog. One of the Dreamers, World Changers and Status Quo Breakers.
Julia Dyer, Creative Marketing Strategist and social change influencer, is intent on helping to improve consumer perceptions within the real estate industry.
Her most recent book - Positive Prospecting, introduces the Real Estate For Good Initiative which has been designed to help encourage a more conscious approach to gifting, and help agents to artfully weave their give back story into their marketing campaigns.
Visit realestateforgood.com.au to view the concept in full and purchase your accreditation package.