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Should Your Utility Support Charitable Events?

image credit: ID 170090538 © Piotr Swat |

In all probability, your utility is flooded with requests from the community to support assorted charitable events or organizations.

In addition, you may already sponsor your own charitable programs — or are thinking of doing so.

Ideally, there should be no problems: You’re trying to make your community a better place and can simultaneously land some positive publicity.

The reality, however, is somewhat different, especially in today’s hypersensitive environment where everyone’s seemingly offended at the drop of a hat.

That means no politics ever. No exceptions. If you choose sides, or even if it only somehow appears you lean one way or the other, you’re going to annoy roughly half of your customer bases.

Ditto for religion. Outside of maybe wishing people “happy holidays,” you’re best to steer clear.

Race is another issue that should be avoided.

And if something is controversial in the news, it’s also advisable to stay away. In recent years, those topics might include immigration, gun control and abortion, to name a few.

If you haven’t been scared away yet (and you’d shouldn’t be), there are plenty of things that you can confidently supports.

For example, aiding senior citizens will always win friends and influence people. Everyone can relate to the problems of the elderly.

Or you can support less-fortunate customers with programs to help them pay their utility bills.

Don’t forget about food, which is the universal language. Food festivals always draw a crowd. And feeding the hungry or assisting a food bank is a great way to get involved with the community.

Animals are another winning topic. Whether you’re supporting the local animal shelter or sponsoring a community dog walk, you’re going to draw a lot of kudos.

The same is true with patriotic events. Sponsoring Fourth of July festivities, fireworks or a local parade is usually a slam dunk.

Working with children is a possibility, too, especially when the kids involved are disadvantaged. Programs like Big Brothers Big Sisters or the Police Athletic League always need support.

Just remember that whatever you do, be sure to carefully vet anything you’re considering sponsor, just to avoid the possibility that something blows up in your face. You never know when a seemingly bulletproof organization has some hidden problem in its recent past.

Andy Gotlieb's picture

Thank Andy for the Post!

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