Charitable foundations and business: how to speak the same language?

Charitable foundations and business: how to speak the same language?

TECHIIA’s Digital Marketing Lead Oleksandr Pozniakov shared detailed instructions.

83% of Ukrainian companies implement the corporate social responsibility policy. On the other hand, the number of registered charities is growing.

When the first meets the second in order to make social projects larger and more systematic, it looks like a dialogue between two foreigners. Companies speak the language of business and performance. Charities — in the language of their goals. Therefore, it is difficult but highly important to find a point of contact.

As a marketer, I notice that many philanthropists lack experience in promoting projects. Usually, they just don't have time for it. But it is exactly the kind of work that helps to find a partner among businesses and increase the effectiveness of charitable programs.

I am writing this text for charitable organizations. There will be both classic marketing recommendations and conclusions from the CSR experience of our TECHIIA holding. You can use them for some specific targets, or you can use them in combination. Pay special attention to the last sections.

Define the audience

The first thing you need to clearly understand is the audience you are broadcasting requests and messages to. In the world of philanthropy, audiences tend to be defined as follows:

1. Direct beneficiaries.

2. Partners who help with finances or other resources.

3. Donors, grant givers.

4. Volunteers of the organization and, if available, staff members — consumers and translators of the charities’ culture.

5. Other philanthropists — any other, including activists who do not register as charities.

6. Administrative bodies.

7. Local community — residents of the city, district, region where your programs operate.

8. Politicians and political associations that may draw attention to your project.

9. Potential volunteers or employees, if your activity implies their involvement.

Journalists have a special role. First of all, they are a channel for broadcasting information. Treat the media as a partner. With their help, you can change people's attitudes — reduce discrimination against a group of people on any basis, communicate an environmental or any other problem.

Define each category

Even the largest brands, the most powerful government agencies, employ human beings. Therefore, audience categories need to be turned into specific profiles in order to properly pack the messages. Run the categories through the filter (adapt the points as necessary):

Demographics: gender, age, marital status, level of education, occupation.

Geographics: where the person lives, works, or studies, spends leisure time, unwinds, and makes purchases.

Finances: the level of income, whether the person earns on his/her own and whether it is hard to make money, what are the spendings besides basic needs.

Social aspects: place in the social hierarchy, political preferences, the discrimination on any grounds.

Psychology: characteristics of behavior, values, social circle, authorities and idols, hobbies.

Choose communication channels

It makes sense to broadcast messages through those sources where your audience receives information from. Perhaps these are traditional media, including online publications, social media feeds, or messages from specific opinion leaders.

Set aside time to monitor national and local media, as well as to find bloggers that your target audience listens to. Review the list at least once a month to add new contacts and comments. They are needed for project communication.

Work with social networks

Even the best fund in the world will not inspire sustainable trust if its activities do not occupy part of the information field of the target region and audience. The more effectively you work as a charity, the more important it is for you to find time to broadcast activities via social networks.

Here are some tips.

Useful from "bad" niches

Get a peek at the tone of voice, headings, draws of alcohol producers, tobacco products, betting business. As a rule, these companies carefully lay down legal nuances. So the user agreement, the conditions in small print under an asterisk can be “adopted” from them for your case.

You can also apply ways to increase activity and attract new followers. Photo zones with a hashtag. Interaction with creative people, such as artists and musicians. Attracting stars who have children and who care about social issues.


The image is important. It attracts readers and affects the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. Therefore, involve professional cameramen and photographers in the implementation of your projects.

Some charitable areas are difficult to make beautiful, in particular, helping people with severe diagnoses. Moreover, the ones you are helping may be ashamed of their condition and do not want to show themselves to the whole world. In this case, you have two tasks:

  • explain to them that the media helps to attract new resources, and then take a picture of those who agree;
  • explain to the photographer the delicacy of the situation and ask to take photos in a way that does not cause suffering and inconvenience to those receiving help.

Your goal is not to shock, but to reach out to the experiences of those who are ready to help.

Gratitude to partners

It should be expressed in text with a company tag. Here is an example. It is advisable not to place the logo or references in the image. An exception is a branded visual, but it should not be busy either.

If you don't have a dedicated person in charge of social media, check your post in the creative hub. Remember that too much text still reduces organic reach and increases the advertising cost. Therefore, concentrate on the main thing.

Instagram has a general posting option, it looks like this. Charities publish gratitudes, tell the main point of the common project, mark the partner so that readers can follow their page. Two birds with one stone: charity reports on the case and the business demonstrates CSR in practice.

Look for a partner

From September to December, the charity has the opportunity to establish communication with businesses that systematically create CSR projects. It is important for a manager from the target company to learn your reputation, experience, and values in the shortest possible time, to understand that there will be no misunderstandings.

Until December, companies are trying to protect the marketing budget for the next year. It is best to go through large and medium-sized businesses in the summer, to study the priorities of their CSR programs, the history of projects.

Many organizations work on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The NGO Techiia Foundation, one of our largest projects, is fighting against childhood cancer in Ukraine. The war in Donbas expanded the possible CSR areas — from volunteering for the army to the reintegration of certain categories of citizens. Some cooperate with women's help centers. There are also many options here — from difficult life situations to mentoring in the context of professional development.

Save potential partners in the table sheet, leave comments after communication or learning experience. In September, you can call and write to all contacts available.

There is a belief that large companies have long chosen partners and work only with them. That's true only to some extent. The company can work for the main goal, and with projects can close today's tasks.

Integrate with your partner

Interaction with a large company or even an agreement on further joint projects is not yet a happy ending. Your goal is to allocate tasks.

It looks like the following: you spend more time looking for the ones you can help, expanding your charitable activities, that is, what you were doing already; whereas your partner’s marketing department takes care of your social media — the thing they know and do better than you.

For both parties, the interaction will be beneficial because:

  • charity will increase integration with the brand, which will positively affect the company's reputation;
  • the company will increase the target media coverage of projects;
  • both parties will be able to build correct communication with the audience (charity — physically, the company — via media);
  • partners will give transparency to the interaction — the company will not doubt the veracity of your statistics.

Randomness vanishes any, even the most important initiative for society. Healthy, proper charity deserves more people to know about it. Including those who can scale it, turn it into a systematic business process.

For every founder or employee of the charity who has read this far, I would like to strongly point out that somewhere in Ukraine, there is a company that needs your initiative. These partners can strengthen your projects, and it is in your power to help them reach a new reputational level. I want you to find each other.

About TECHIIA Holding

TECHIIA is an international diversified holding company founded by genuine leaders. Thanks to a complex business ecosystem, we organically grow in many technological areas: esports, IT products, IT services, a venture studio, production and distribution of esports merchandise and accessories, construction of infrastructure facilities. The company conducts business easily and professionally. We set no limits for ambitious business ideas.

We believe that the possibilities are endless when supported by best practices. Among our competencies: the creation of products for the esports market, software development, IT product development, the production of premium souvenir products, the distribution of equipment and accessories for gamers, the construction of infrastructure facilities. We go beyond the typical and invite everyone to be daring with us. Business is only part of what we do. TECHIIA is a lifestyle.

TECHIIA holding unites 10+ projects and more than 1000 professionals.

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