Give-Back Has To Be Authentic

We mention this in nearly every guide, and it’s at the core of all things LSM. You have to be genuine in what you’re doing.

You won’t be successful picking a charity because you solely want good PR or just think it would be “good for business.” If you don’t truly believe in giving, then you should not give.

Most LSM efforts are more like getting and owning a dog or other pet. It needs attention, caring, feeding, cleaning and walking, etc. It isn’t something you set and forget.


Your Charity Partner Should Be Appropriate

Be sure to pick a charity that fits your brand, is relevant to your customers, is right for your business. We’ll get into the specifics later in the Guide.

Here’s an example of finding an appropriate charity. Years ago, at Starbucks Coffee Company, a store manager made a great partnership with the local Red Cross to take part in a blood drive. Part of the partnership was that they would allow customers to give blood inside the Starbucks café.

From the manager’s perspective, it was a great fit.

  • Great local cause,
  • Starbucks logo on Red Cross materials,
  • Out-of-store awareness of event driving people to the store, and
  • Low cost, high visibility.

While this is a generous giving of space and time, it was a terrible idea in a restaurant where people are eating and drinking. It wasn’t appropriate at all.

A better idea – and what they implemented – was to have a Blood Mobile (a truck with donation stations built inside) take donations outside the store. Once someone had donated blood, they were directed to the store to get a free treat as a “thank you” for donating.