Making philanthropy part of your internal and external brand
Amanda Frame, marketing manager at Systems Made Simple, discusses the role of philanthropic involvement as part of her organization’s branding and how they integrate this strategy while remaining genuinely dedicated to the causes they support.
Dodge: How many philanthropic events does Systems Made Simple participate in per year and what are some of the organizations you support?
Amanda: We participate in 10 or more events per year, and most of the organizations we support are ones that give back to our nation’s veterans. These events take place throughout the country around our different office locations. Most notably, we support Homes for Our Troops, Fisher House, American Freedom Foundation, National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic and Wounded Warrior Project.
Dodge: Why did your organization decide to prioritize philanthropy as part of its corporate culture (internally and externally)?
Amanda: As a company whose president and co-founder is a Service-Disabled Veteran, we believe it is our duty to give back to those who defend, and have defended, our country and our freedom. We find it very humbling when we are able meet with and provide hands-on support to veterans. Along with traditional charity events (such as 5Ks), we’ve helped veterans ski and kayak, assisted in home landscaping, brought lunches to Fisher House locations and participated in motorcycle rides to veteran hospitals. We have found these experiences bond our employees and give a great morale in the offices.
Dodge: Given you have offices spread out all over the country, how do you encourage employee participation in the events and create a cohesive message around philanthropic support?
Amanda: By focusing on specific veteran charities, we monitor events and volunteer opportunities near all our offices. It helps our offices feel connected to be able to participate in the same kinds of events and help the same charities even though we are spread out across the country.
Dodge: How do you leverage philanthropic involvement with the Systems Made Simple brand? In particular, how do you make this part of your social media strategy?
Amanda: We’ve found that most, if not all, of the charities we support have a large social media presence. When they hold events they post lots of updates and pictures. They love when companies involved in the events post about them, and we’ve gotten great exposure and coverage from retweets, and shared posts about our participation.
Dodge: What are some tips you can offer around incorporating philanthropy with branding while remaining authentic in your charitable support?
Amanda: I think it’s important to pick a few charities or causes that you support and keep your focus on them. As a veteran owned business that is where we have the greatest connection. Find a charity/cause that your corporate brand and employees can connect with, that will generate the greatest support from within your organization and translate into giving the most back.