Charitable Contributions – Make A Difference

Charitable Donations

Does your company make charitable contributions or give back to the community?

Kinds of Charity Donations

Charity donations come in many forms. Cash donations are the most common but donations of time, skill and items are also much needed. You can donate clothes, food, water and tents to disaster relief operations. Many charities accept used clothing, knitted items and shoes and distribute them to the needy. Orphanages and shelters would greatly appreciate your toy donations.

You can also donate vehicles, furniture, computers, books, old cell phones and practically anything that you may no longer have a use for but others can certainly benefit from. Additionally, giving your time through volunteer charity work is extremely valuable.

For me, I have chosen to donate my skills and time and to benefit charitable causes.  I have also chosen to run for various charities.  A charity in many ways is like a business so having a professional image allows the charity to hit the ground running.  I have created logos and letterhead for one charity, designed t-shirts to be sold to raise money and donated gift certificates to be auctioned off to raise money for a charity.

Speaking of hitting the ground running, I ran a 5K (sponsored by a client) to benefit the Maine Cancer Foundation and I am currently training for a marathon to benefit the Red Cross and the Health Ministry of the Southern Tier (benefiting those without health insurance).

In January, I will be running the Disney Marathon to benefit Caleb’s Crusade, a charity established by my friends to provide funds for childhood cancer research and to help children and families affected with childhood cancers to cope with their everyday expenses incurred during treatment and relocation.

Reasons for Giving to Charity

Big natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Cuba, and the tsunami in Japan can compel individuals to give what they can to affected communities. Others encounter eye-opening experiences that lead them to start giving to charity.

Many  businesses are motivated to give because of tax deductions associated with charitable donations. In addition, charitable giving is also a good way for a company to strengthen its brand and develop good relations with the community. Giving to charity can also help drive business as many customers are likely to buy from a company that gives back to society.

For individuals, tax breaks are also a top reason for donating to charity. On the other hand, there are also many individuals who give solely out of their desire to help people in need. Others support a cause that they can identify with, they believe is important, or has personally affected their lives. For instance, friends and families of cancer patients or survivors may donate to charity to help fund research, provide treatment, or create awareness about the disease.

For me, it was watching my friends 4 year old son, Caleb, fight a losing battle with leukemia in less than a year.  I witnessed a strong family get stronger but still not have the strength to overcome that terrible disease, even after many forms of treatment including chemo and a bone marrow transplant.

Shortly afterward, my ex-husband, the father of my two older sons, was diagnosed with brain cancer.  He is an active, otherwise healthy Little League coach and father of 4 (remarried with 2 more boys).  Three years post-diagnosis, he is maintaining his quality of life after having undergone chemo, radiation, numerous surgeries and trial medication.

Two years ago, a lifetime family friend was diagnosed with liver cancer and at the age of 33 and after less than a year of fighting, lost her battle with cancer.

Whether the donation comes from an individual or a business organization, giving to charity – for whatever reason, in any form, whether a big or small amount – will help make a difference in the lives of many people who are in need.

I hope that you will join me, in your own way, in helping the cause of your choice, so that together we can make a better world.

Branding Your Business – Logos and Image

In order to establish a strong business brand, you also need to create a strong business image. This will be used by potential customers or consumers to assess their own expectations about the company. There is a crucial moment in every marketing strategy that is aimed at attracting the customers’ attention to your product and you achieve this through your company image and brand, which is also why it is of extreme importance.

More than any type of impression, you want to create a positive image for your customers. This will help ensure that you are at the top of their list when considering buying a product similar to yours. This is just the initial phase and eventually your customers’ confidence in your brand will soon come into play.

Creating a Professional Logo

In the world of business, the logo represents who you are as a business. Hence, it should be able to capture and reflect the nature of your business at its most basic level. Identity and reputation should follow.

As a reflection of your company, your objective is to design a logo with a professional touch because it is what creates the initial impression in the mind of the consumer. These first impressions are almost always impossible to undo, so you cannot risk coming up with a mediocre design. If you are unsure how to execute a design, it is always best to hire a professional to do it for you. This will help you attain a more consistent design for your logo that reinforces the message that your company is trying to convey. In fact, most businesses (big or small) allot an investment for this and you should as well.

As simple as it may sound, designing a logo is an intricate process, which is why you need a professional to help realize your vision and visualize your business concepts. Among the elements that must be considered and combined effectively are colors, shapes, light, space, and so much more. Make sure to include this in your brand planning process.

Business Input Into The Design

Although you leave the designing job to the hands of a professional logo designer, this does not mean that you (the business owner) are eliminated from the formula. This is your business and it is your vision, therefore it is the most essential element in the logo creation process.

The logo design process involves gathering information and producing creative ideas that will be utilized by the designer in coming up with the design. Careful planning, competitive analysis and brainstorming of ideas is an essential step to take before jumping into the actual design process. You and the designer must work in a symbiotic manner – you can share your business input with the designer for them to translate a graphic representation of your ideas, while they can propose designing elements that will jive with your business identity.

Where To Get Creative Ideas?

When dealing with the technical aspect of marketing strategy, often the challenge is to produce creative ideas for your design. The key here is to stimulate your brain to arouse creative thoughts that will make your brand stand out and still maintain that professional image.

Here are great tips you can try to squeeze out those creative juices:

1.) Spend time reading to be able to get inspiration from various reading materials.

2.) Search the web and observe various sites you visit. Look at how the designs are produced and what kind of reaction it elicits from you.

3.) Ask your employees or other staff members for ideas. You can take a small idea and develop it into a valid design concept.

Image is such a vital element in the business brand, which is why it is your main objective to create a professional design that is going to last.