6 Reasons to Become One
Charity is a word that is used frequently and loosely, often defined as an immediate voluntary response to those in need. “Give-to-Charity” has become a “catch-phrase.” It is the emotional urge to help others; the change left in a cup of a homeless person on the street or the check written to support the fire or flood emergency. Yet, philanthropy is a more long-term, strategic focus on renewing and rebuilding those in need—a problem-solving call.
Why Philanthropy? Why OTC’s?
It’s important to make this distinction because OTC’s dwell in areas that are a playground for renewal and rebuilding—urban America. It is particularly important that the OTC’s not only give, but are also vocal givers. Communities need to understand that you support their challenges: the existence of OTC stores in every urban city across the United States, echoing the call for OTC Philanthropy, from a soapbox. OTC stores are staples in the urban and African American community, synonymous with the local beauty salons, barbershops, and supermarkets/bodegas. The primary OTC customer is the African American and Hispanic woman, the core of the family.
WOMEN create wealth for beauty and personal care companies in the U.S., estimated to reach $81 Billion by 2017. (Euro Monitor International)
Within most cultures and societies the world over, the adage of “with great power, comes great responsibility,” moralistically prevails. As an established fixture in a community where one’s wealth is acquired, it becomes a social responsibility to contribute to the community that sustains the OTC business.
Developing a platform of social responsibility is a corporate, social and human responsibility that speaks volumes about your business. It says you care and it gives consumers a “reason to believe” and continue to support your business and with MORE enthusiasm!
Six (6) Reasons to Become a Philanthropist
- Builds Karma Bank – It’s the right thing to do. Giving is a human, social and business responsibility.
- Long-Term Cause – Support the people in need that support your business. Commit to a cause and develop a long-term plan (in volunteer time or money, donations or fundraisers).
- Stand to Receive – Increase employee respect and morale. Show your employees that you stand for worthy values, and ask them to get involved too.
- Customer Support – It shows the women and community you serve that you care about their needs and appreciate their support of your business.
- Increase Awareness – It builds awareness for the selected charity and your OTC store.
- Partner with a local PR manager or the charities’ PR manager for two months of the project and your awareness could grow in local media or national news, for both the cause and your OTC Store.
- Tax Deductible – Charitable contributions are tax deductible – 501(c)(3)
It’s Overwhelming, Where Do I Begin?
Becoming a Philanthropist can actually be quite simple. Philanthropy is about commitment to DOING. Developing a long-term plan to help people renew and rebuild.
1) Identify your customer. Who is she/he? What are their patterns, and what are their needs?
2) Think about a common challenge this customer group has.
- The options are endless; everything from health and weight concerns, domestic abuse, parenting skills, support of children, career development, educational opportunities…and the list goes on.
3) Insert the cause of your interest in any search engine and the resolve options are endless—locally, regionally or nationally. The opportunities to align with existing causes and their programs make Philanthropy easy.
It doesn’t have to be a grand organization effort; it can be as simple as contributing quarterly or annually. Simple, turn-key give-back ideas include:
- Inserting a donation box at check out, with specific cause signage.
- Supporting an annual 5K. Every city has 5K runs that support a health or some other cause.
- Contributing a portion of proceeds during peak times: Holidays, Back-to-School, etc.
- Allow a cause organization to host their event in your store. Customers will shop your aisles while the organization raises awareness and fundraises.
- Volunteer yourself and include your resources to network for the cause.
Becoming a Philanthropist is about your commitment and frequency; it isn’t about the scale of the contribution.
Want to Contribute on a Grander Scale?
Develop your own non-profit organization. A non-profit organization is an incorporated organization for an educational or charitable cause. Money earned by the non-profit organization must be retained by the organization, and used for its own expenses, operations and programs. Many non-profits benefit from exemption of local taxes including sales and property taxes. For more information on non-profit start-ups, visit www.CharityNetUSA.com and www.501c3.org.
Get a Grant to Support your Non-Profit and Philanthropic Efforts
Grants are non-repayable funds or products provided by grant-makers, government entities, corporations, foundations or trusts. In order to receive a grant, some form of “grant writing” often referred to as either a proposal or an application is required. Grants are typically awarded to a distinct group for a specific purpose (i.e. African American women or children living in urban or metropolitan areas, and are primarily provided for specific and defined program development). For more information on grants, go to http://www.educationconnection.com/college-grants-for-women/ (Grants for Women), www.SmallBusinessGrants.Biz (Business Grants), www.Grants.gov and www.FoundationCenter.org.
“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
Few of us can make an “Oprah” type of donation—a gift that adds a wing onto a hospital or builds a library at a university. But, almost all of us, with a little planning and commitment, can be Philanthropists that make a difference in some way, large or small.
Shine Beauty Culture/The Shine Culture is a Brand Management Consultancy for Beauty & Lifestyle Brands, Est. in 2007 in NYC by Phylencia “PT” Taylor. Research, Marketing & Communication Strategies are our core. Inspired by the impact beauty and lifestyle brands transcend to our culture, discovered while working with Fortune 500 Brands for over a decade. When PT isn’t working as a Brand Management Consultant & Researcher, she’s an Adjunct Professor within USG, Entrepreneur and Mom living Atlanta, Georgia. ShineBeautyCulture.com
Interested in developing a Philanthropic “Reason to Believe” Campaign? Email Us: ShineBeautyCulture@gmail.com.