How contributing to charity gives your business extra exposure – plus you’re doing a good thing.

As the head of 5WPR, I have formulated tactics that use participation in charitable causes as an effective way to promote the interests of my clients. You may not have my top notch public relations firm at your beck and call when strategizing your advertising plan, but you can take advantage of a few of my tips.

The most obvious go to choice for a charitable contribution is a monetary donation. You might choose to act as a sponsor for an upcoming event or fundraiser. Your company will receive acknowledgement through all event publicity efforts, and the visibility is valuable beyond the amount you spend. Even better, see if you can arrange to sponsor a certain portion or activity as part of the larger event. Generally, your company will be mentioned in a prominent way, such as “Our Thanks to X Company for Providing the Passed Appetizers,” or “This Evening’s Entertainment Brought to You by Y, Inc.”

If your company’s budget simply doesn’t allow for these types of expenditures, any reputable PR firm will tell you about plenty of other ways to participate in charitable causes and capitalize on marketing opportunities. Beg or bribe your employees to enter a walk or run event – wearing company colors, of course. The photo opportunities abound at these fundraisers, and they’ll be posted on the charity’s website shortly after.

However you choose to position your company’s focus on charitable causes, the marketing advantages are pretty clear. As a bonus, having a local charity as a business partner can also provide opportunities. Law firms that support local bar associations often get referrals when a potential client calls the organization looking for help. Those seeking tax advice frequently turn to charitable professional organizations for a recommended practice in the area. Developing relationships with these philanthropic associations will make sure that your company is at the top of the list when someone calls for a referral.