Most people have an inherent desire to connect with others and be a part of something larger than themselves. Between work, family and other commitments, our sense of purpose can weaken, or even feel lost, as we try to keep up in our fast-moving world.
This is leading to a record number of people looking to merge the two worlds – they’re leaving their jobs in search of a career that will allow them to make meaningful connections to satisfy that desire and find purpose in their work. Now is the time for businesses across all industries to step up and demonstrate a social conscience.
Since inception, community impact has been a crucial component of Burn Boot Camp’s DNA and a top priority across the system. This is why we have an ongoing partnership with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). The annual philanthropic ‘Be Their Muscle’ event supports MDA’s mission to empower the lives of kids and adults living with muscular dystrophy, ALS and over 43 neuromuscular diseases to fund research, care, and advocacy so families can live longer and grow stronger.
In correlation with the event, Burn Boot Camp locations across the country host a workout on a specific day, with 100 per cent of the proceeds directly benefitting MDA to send hundreds of children living with muscular dystrophy to a life-changing summer camp.
Over the past few years, we at Burn Boot Camp have seen how working with the MDA has connected us to our community and strengthened our bond with our team members and members. The below insight and advice are meant to help franchisors understand the value and importance of prioritizing charitable efforts and the benefits it will have on the business.
Having a charitable partner brings your company mission to life
There are many franchisors that include messaging in their mission statement about how they want to have an impact on their community or be a part of the bigger picture. But the question is, what are they doing to act on that mission statement?
“Franchise brands that prioritize philanthropy will reap the benefits”
The mission of Burn Boot Camp is to empower individuals to build confidence and happiness that will transcend fitness into a community of mentally, emotionally, and physically strong people. We wanted to pick a cause that worked well with what we believe in doing every day. Both Burn and the MDA believe in building strength through unity, which allowed us to align and come together on our goals and missions.
Having a charitable partner should be seen as an investment a business is making in their community, employees, and brand. It helps increase public awareness of your initiative and dedication to the cause by demonstrating that tangible steps are being taken to follow through on your promises. Not to mention, it will help educate and drive awareness towards the cause and charity – a win-win.
Strengthen community morale and involvement
At Burn Boot Camp, our community is dedicated to educating, influencing, and inspiring every life with knowledge, love, strength, and passion. So, we knew our members would share our passion for MDA and building awareness on their efforts.
To further build on existing community relationships, or to create ones, connect with local businesses to see if there is interest in joining the cause. Maybe it’s as simple as putting up a flyer for a charity event at the local coffee shop or an effort that’s a little more involved, such as asking a local vendor to participate alongside you or make a donation. Relationships built on strong grounds with the common interest of something like supporting a charity can prove to be useful down the road.
When one employee or organization in a community dedicates themselves wholeheartedly to a cause, it has the potential to spread like wild fire and bring in others who are interested in contributing to the cause as well.
Organizations are expected to do more than provide quality goods and services to customers and a paycheck to employees. Consumers and employees are looking for businesses to go the extra mile and support local, or national, causes in their community.
A study done by Cone Communications found that 90 per cent of the customers surveyed said they would support a company that championed a cause they care about. Supporting a charity or specific cause can also go as far as helping attract and retain members and talent.
Things to consider when selecting a charitable partner
Select a charitable cause or partner that instills a common thread of passion and excitement across the business. To ensure that you are aligning with your employees, include them in the process. Ask them to submit or share their ideas, interests and passions, and include them in the planning process so they feel represented.
Once you’ve received input from others in your organization, make sure you are selecting a cause that you know your brand can support. Compile a list of potential initiatives that could be conducted systemwide such as in-person events or week-long supply drives, or whatever it may be.
“Having a charitable partner should be seen as an investment a business is making in their community, employees, and brand”
Also, ask yourself if the business has the appropriate means and resources required to see the effort through. When you enter into a philanthropic partnership, you want to make sure you have a clear idea and vision on the execution.
Philanthropy has the power to have a profound impact on your franchise system. It will rally together your franchisees, home office team members, and community, while providing the best platform to engage with your current and potential members.
Franchise brands that prioritize philanthropy will reap the benefits of a strengthened system of partners that will have a direct impact on bottom-line results.
Morgan Kline is the COO and co-founder of Burn Boot Camp, a leading boutique fitness franchise