Today is National Pancake Day at IHOP, a day when IHOP invites everyone to come in for a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes. Normally when a business does this they offer free food in the hopes you will come purchase their other products and/or they’re trying to get you into the store so you’ll come back again. IHOP uses this day every year to ask patrons to instead make a donation to one of the charities they support. The Children’s Miracle Network is the largest charity they support, but I am volunteering tonight to support another organization, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Delaware.
Supporting local nonprofits by volunteering or donating, or becoming a sponsor for a nonprofit event, is a great way to build goodwill in the community. A business or individual is not obligated to support every charity-but getting involved in a passionate cause one believes in, or is interested in, essentially functions as free or cheap advertising. If your community has two businesses which provide the same product or service, are roughly equal in price and customer satisfaction, and one is a proud sponsor for events like raising funds for kids with cancer or saving dying animals, and the other is not, which one are you more likely to patronize?
Business support for charitable events, whether it’s for a specific purpose or just to benefit an organization’s yearly objectives, builds brand awareness. You get good PR but also the opportunity to be associated with causes you believe in. Granted, some causes are more controversial but being out there lets people know you’re an active part of the community.
Understandably the nonprofit world has been hit with scandals and embarrassing situations where seniors leaders take huge sums of money for themselves or donations are found to be wasted or misspent. But as someone who works for a nonprofit I sincerely say these nonprofits are the exception to the rule. The overwhelming majority of people who work for nonprofits do not expect top dollar for our services. Volunteer organizers don’t get anything at all! Yet we still give our time and sometimes accept less pay (or none at all) to support what we believe in.
So today, consider a midday lunch break or post-work stop at IHOP, braving the weather and the (hopefully) long lines of people who want to support groups like LLS Delaware, and get some delicious pancakes. It’s a sweet way to show your appreciation for cancer research.*
Bad pun intended
For more information about LLS Delaware, visit their site here.
For more information about the Caesar Rodney Institute, visit our site here.