If you are a show, event, or sports team are you always sold out? Do you have empty seats looking for a butt? Why not use them to work for you and help a charity at the same time.
I went to a charity fundraiser over the weekend to support my kids youth hockey program. At this event they had a silent auction, live auction and raffle items available. What I was most impressed with was the amount of items. There was tons of stuff to bid on. There needed to be. This is how the youth hockey group raises money. The fundraising committee worked overtime to search out and obtain these items. My thought as I walked around looking at the items was this is a great marketing opportunity.
In this age of cutting marketing budgets and trying to hit as close to the bulls-eye as possible, exposing your product at a fundraising event is good. Picking what events you give to is most important. This was a youth hockey fundraiser so what type of marketing demo attends? They were parents of kids in hockey. Chances are, they like hockey, sports, and anything related to their kids. So in turn the most popular items were these things. Tickets to the local pro sports teams, in particular the Boston Bruins and New England Patriots were big items. Summer hockey camps for kids were huge items. What I did notice was that the tickets for the pro teams did not come from the teams but from season ticket holders. If I was with a team, I would set aside tickets for these events. This is your low hanging fruit. These are your past, current, and future fans. If you are a hockey team, you don’t get any closer to the bulls-eye. Think how you could market the brand to your core demo at this event while giving away the tickets.
At the company I work for, we get written charity ticket requests everyday. I try to give to almost all of them if possible. Because I get so many, I set the rules on who and how many. At the very least, it exposes the brand and fills the empty seat to someone who wants to enjoy my product.
You don’t have to wait for a charity to come to you. There are now new opportunities to market your product while doing good. I mentioned during the summer of one online organization cmarket/BiddingForGood; http://www.cmarket.com/auction/BiddingForGood.action. EBay also has a charity site. They both host online charity auctions. On these online charity sites, you reach thousands of potential customers for nothing more then giving away a little product.