Affiliating yourself with a charity is a great way to show current and prospective tenants that you are invested in the local community, and there’s no better time than during the holiday season. Not only does it help those in need and spread holiday cheer, but it also develops your network of contacts. Since charities are usually aware that you have a secondary motivation for participating with them, many of them have gotten really good at helping you receive a return on your investment while helping the disadvantaged.

Choosing the Right Charity to Support

To make the whole experience fun and rewarding, choose a cause you believe in and feel some connection to. Also, think about keeping it local so that you’re connecting with your target market -- members of your community who might become future tenants.

You can begin by doing something as simple as putting out a cash box to benefit a local charity.  Think about supporting charities that help the homeless or feed needy families. Other popular charities to support include pet shelters and organizations that help veterans or the elderly. Think about encouraging more contributions by establishing a matching fund.

Another project idea is to get involved with a holiday donation drive. Offer one of your properties as a collection point for food, clothing, winter, coats or holiday gifts for children.

Advertising Your Participation

Whatever cause you choose to support, get the message out to your tenants and other professionals with whom you do business. Let them know what you’re doing and why, and how they can help.

Pre-event announcements on your website or blog are a great way to help your project pick up steam, as are fliers and newsletters. When it’s all over, don't forget to communicate your results and express your gratitude for everyone’s involvement.

Think about associating your name with a charity by making promotional material available. In the lobby of your building, you could hang posters or distribute pamphlets advertising the organization you’re supporting. If volunteers are involved, get them pins or t-shirts that publicize the charity. Ask the charity to mention your name in their promotional materials.

Market Yourself to Supporters of the Charity

Link one of your rental properties with the charity. Run a holiday season campaign during which you make a donation to your charity for every lease signed in December. Promote the campaign on your website and in your newsletters, and ask the charity to publicize it in their communication materials.

Remember to Network

One of the most valuable perks of getting involved with a charity, from a business standpoint, is the opportunity to network. As an independent professional, networking with other like-minded professionals is probably the most significant way to attract potential tenants to your properties.

Holiday schedules can be hectic and overflowing, but find some time during this busy season to attend meetings and events hosted by your charity. Volunteer to participate on a board or committee. If you have employees, consider asking them to get involved to broaden your networking opportunities.

Supporting local charities is an effective way to network, market yourself and attract potential tenants. The holiday season, a time of giving, is the perfect time of year to get started. We all want to leave the world a better place, and there's no better way to promote yourself than by making a difference in your community.

POSTED November 24 2014 2:00 PM

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