Awards & Engraving

December '16

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A&E DECEMBER 2016 • 59 One example of a way to get involved in charitable work is to donate school supplies and backpacks. Shown here, the Gyford StandOff Systems team was able to donate 50 backpacks filled with all sorts of supplies ranging from notebooks to calculators and writing instruments this year. IMAGE COURTESY CHRIS HOWARD CHARITABLE CONSIDERATIONS A&E: Who should awards retailers reach out to when looking to get involved in charitable work? Howard: Most charities will have a local or regional office that business people can reach out to. School districts tend to have a good network for non-profits. (You can) reach out to a shelter. There are usually recruitment positions at large charities and schools or school districts will have someone in charge. Blumenthal-Joseph: It's important to find a reputable orga- nization where the proceeds of your fundraiser will make the most impact. Doing online research to find where the dona- tions go and how they are used is a crucial step into choosing a charity. Don't be afraid to call a charity and ask these important questions over the phone. A&E: What products or services can awards retailers offer charities? Blumenthal-Joseph: Custom patches are great for chari- ties and organizations because they not only are inexpensive to make in large quantities, but also promote awareness for the cause. Supporting a charity can be as simple as asking for donations from employees, or more complex like designing promotional products. Howard: Donor walls are used to display plaques from people who have made significant contributions. Just donating your time is helpful. Another low cost opportunity is to offer some awards or plaques for the highest fund raiser. Imprinting promotional products is a great way to donate. Run in a 10K or show up at a shelter to hand out presents. A&E: What are the benefits of getting involved in charitable events and organizations for an awards retailer? Howard: The more events (you attend) that the members of your community are at, the more they will be inclined to call your company when they need services. You are able to meet other professionals that share your values. Aside from the marketing exposure, this is an excuse to get your staff out of the office and let them bond. Blumenthal-Joseph: Not only do these events attract, retain and maintain a happy workforce, but it also helps differentiate yourself from your competitors. Working with non-profit orga- nizations helps to improve your business reputation, and it will help generate positive publicity and media interest. A&E: Speaking of non-profits, how do purchasing habits differ between non-profit and for-profit organizations? Howard: Non-profits typically have a longer process to approve orders. Their expenditures need to be approved by a board or other governance body. They usually require a little more design assistance and input because they do not deal with these purchases on a daily basis. Their main concern is in making the presentation striking and of very high quality. A&E: What are the overall considerations an awards retailer should make before getting involved in charitable opportunities? Blumenthal-Joseph: There is a lot of planning to be done in preparation for getting involved in charitable opportunities. It is imperative to get in touch with an organization to ensure that they would like to receive your business's donations. Once your organization has been decided upon, you will need to design the product and figure out costs. An essential step is marketing your fundraiser or product so that people will know where and how to purchase it. If you haven't previously considered getting involved in a charity, you may think about looking into it. The rewards are great and it the benefits are far-reaching.

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