Business giving: Do well by doing good

Supporting a worthy cause is worth the effort, both personally and businesswise.

Better yet, involve your customers in the process. Ask them to join you when you bring the gift to the family and get pictures to post in your truck so everyone who gave can share the sense of accomplishment.

And don’t just ask for money; ask for money with a purpose. Does the child need a wheelchair? Help paying for chemo? Can you send him to Disney or a home team game? The more specific the goal, the more likely people are to give.

Consider holding a raffle like Ulsh did. Unlike cash in a jar, it seems more legit and can bring in more cash. Here are some thoughts on putting a quick raffle together:

Pick prizes customers want. You can obviously buy them at wholesale — or better yet, ask your flag or WD for donations.

Promote locally. Make it obvious the money isn’t for some faceless charity; it’s for a real person right in your community.

Ask shops to participate. Tell shop owners you’re helping a local child. Ask if they’d be willing to pitch in a prize or buy or sell raffle tickets.

Ask for help. Don’t go it alone. Ask customers for help. People give more to a cause they feel connected to. Some may even help you sell tickets.

Set a goal. We all like to achieve goals. Set an amount you need to raise and let everyone know how close you are to the goal each week.

Keep it affordable. Ulsh felt that it was easier to sell $3 chances than it would have been if the price was higher.

Whether you support your flag’s national charity, give to a local cause, or help just one person in your community, you don’t have to choose between making money and making a difference.

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