I am a huge champion of brands supporting non-profits because both parties benefit so handsomely. For brands, the goodwill, loyalty and profit this inspires is invaluable in a marketplace where companies must prove themselves to be more meaningful to their customers’ lives. Meanwhile non-profits get the support they so richly deserve and critical exposure as well.
A great example of this dynamic is underway. In fact, this is the final week to enter. It’s Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good, a national philanthropy program in which Toyota is giving 100 Cars to 100 nonprofits over the course of 100 days.
Toyota is investing in such an initiative because they understand the difference a new car or truck can make for organizations that are doing so much for the community. They also understand that their customers expect them to play a greater role in building a better future for all of us. And by crowdsourcing the winners through Facebook, they ensure that everyone plays a part in making that contribution.
Toyota also provides the non-profits with valuable social media support. As Molly Reeser, Executive Director of Detroit’s Camp Casey, one of the 2011 100 Cars recipients, noted:
“In addition to a new truck, Toyota gave us the training and resources we needed to get more sophisticated about social media marketing for the long-term. This has had a real impact, with our ‘likes’ on Facebook jumping five-fold in very short order.”
It’s impossible to understate the importance of supporting such an initiative. Not only is it invaluable to the non-profits and their work, but when successful such campaigns inspire as permission slips for other brands to do follow their lead. The Toyota 100 Cars for Good is a great example. Last year’s community support has ensured the campaign continues for a second year. And when you consider that Toyota has contributed over half a billion to non-profits across the U.S. over the last 20 years, you can see what a difference the private sector can make to social change.
In the social business world, industry or category leadership is not limited to what product or service you make. A brand’s commitment to causes higher than its own profit is what resonates loudest with consumers. This campaign is a powerful demonstration of such a commitment and deserves our support.
So if you’re a supporter of a non-profit, or run a non-profit yourself, make sure you enter NOW as you can and you can only enter up till March 28th! Then be sure you vote to help your non-profit get a car to support their great work. The video at the top of the post explains all you need, By doing so, you’ll not only help the non-profit you love and encourage more contribution from Toyota, but you’ll feel great about yourself as well.