8 Ways Small Businesses Can Support St. Jude's Thanks and Giving Program

by Liz Magill on November 17, 2011
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St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a not-for-profit organization, has been on a mission to save children’s lives ever since it opened its doors 50 years ago. The hospital treats nearly 6,000 young patients annually, and it is committed to finding cures for some of the deadliest childhood diseases. As a research facility, St. Jude has helped improve childhood cancer survival rates to nearly 80 percent, up from less than 20 percent in 1962.

Thanks to the generous support of donors — corporations, consumers, celebrities, musicians, and athletes — St. Jude is the only pediatric center in the United States that fully pays for lodging, travel, and medical expenses for children and their families who are without insurance. St. Jude was recently ranked as the most trusted nonprofit brand by market research firm Harris Interactive.

To continue its important work, St. Jude runs Thanks and Giving, an annual holiday campaign to raise funds and awareness. The nationwide program, created in 2004, runs from Thanksgiving until the New Year. The multifaceted drive includes asking customers of participating retailers to add a donation to their purchase total at check out.

Here’s how small businesses can support the lifesaving work at St. Jude:

  1. Join the 5K St. Jude “Give thanks. Walk.” event. Small businesses can recruit employees, customers, and partners to join one of the 5K walks held in 80 communities nationwide on Nov. 19. To find a walk in your area, click here.
  2. Shop with St. Jude partners. Does your small business need office supplies? How about an office lunch or business trip? If so, consider purchasing from one of the many St. Jude corporate partners — restaurants, retailers, airlines, and more.
  3. Create a co-branded donation website. After an easy set-up process, your St. Jude co-branded website (displaying your small business logo) enables you to collect employee, customer, and partner donations.
  4. Spread the word through Facebook. Share information about the work of St. Jude by sending a virtual card to all your Facebook fans.
  5. Offer a donation-based casual dress day. In exchange for being “allowed” to dress casual for work, employees make a donation to St. Jude Research Hospital in support of the “I’m Dressing Casual for St. Jude Kids” initiative.
  6. Introduce a payroll-deduction program. Charity payroll-deduction programs help small businesses become more socially responsible and improve employee morale. Participants are less likely to miss the money if they don’t see it, since small increments are automatically donated before they receive a check. Also consider adding a company matching program to a payroll deduction program to make participants feel like they are doing even more for the charity.
  7. Engage in a cause-related marketing campaign. Cause marketing campaigns join together “for profit” businesses with not-for-profit organizations for mutual benefit.  A cause-related marketing campaign, such as customer percentage of sale donation, helps St. Jude gain supporters through your customer base. It helps your business by improving customer and public relations.
  8. Carry out a donate spare change program. According to Coinstar, there’s some $90 in change hiding out in every U.S. household. Ask your employees to go on a scavenger hunt for coins to donate to the St. Jude spare change program.
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