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For Love or For Money: Brands that support charities

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Posted by: Caféstudy

3rd Aug 2015 12:32pm

We recently asked your opinion on brands that support charities.  Did you feel they are truly concerned and would you switch brands if you saw they supported a charity that was close to your heart?

For the most part, you were wary of the motives behind a company that associates their brand with a charity.   Many see it as a tax dodge that costs the company nothing and simply another form of advertising that looks to loosen purse strings.  

It is not just brands that you’ve put under the microscope but also the charities themselves. Many of you call for greater transparency on where and how raised money is being spent.   As Senorita put it  “I believe these charities are mainly for profit making. While we donate or support a brand, the funds are not transparent enough to show the public what has been done and achieved”.

If the impact of your support could be more easily understood, you indicate you might feel more comfortable purchasing the brand.  In the absence of this, you’d rather donate directly to your chosen charities.   

However, despite this mistrust the majority of you think that corporations have an obligation to support charities.   So even if the company’s motives aren’t truly altruistic it is a win-win situation that you feel comfortable with. 

Despite a win-win for the charity and brand, given the high level of cynicism around motives, most of you won’t choose a brand because they support a charity.    With all things equal, product quality and preference come first.  As Groove50 points out, “supporting a charity does not make the company better at what they do or make their products or service better”. If the product is easily substitutable, a few of you may consider a switch… if you feel the charity is reputable.   

A handful of you are open to buying brands that align themselves openly with a charity.  Even if you don’t buy the brand you may at least have a better opinion of them.

So what should we conclude from your responses? Should companies turn their charitable support into an advertising campaign or leave it as a tax write-off and feel-good factor for employees? According to you, company support of charities is seen as morally responsible but not something to wear on their sleeves.   There appears a need for brands to better communicate how their support makes a difference… and doing so may just influence you to have a more positive opinion of them.

Comments 3

Cajun Spice
  • 8th Dec 2016 11:21am

It pays to research different charities and where donated monies go. It is well known that the Pink Ribbon breast cancer charity is a business in itself and only a tiny percentage of donated money is used for charity. Also the Pink Ribbon is used on products that cause cancer--highly processed foods, fast foods, and other junk foods. It doesn't seem right. The Susan G Komen foundation is also a scam. If you are interested in a charity, please do your research and keep an open mind !!

  • 25th Jul 2016 03:17pm

I think it would have to depend on who it was for and what they get out of it but yes I would sho more at a shopping centre to help

  • 23rd May 2016 12:12pm

When I was working for companies with a strong community support ethic I volunteered a lot as did many employees because it was the right thing to do. I must admit that as a lot of it was in paid work time I preferred to be out and contributing rather than sitting at my desk all day so there was a bit of self-interest there.
I really do not notice who sponsors what unless it is in my face. Bendigo bank contributes to just about everything in our community so I bank with them because their contribution is real and immediate.