Sal Ferro, president of Alure Home Improvements, in East Meadow, N.Y., is literally putting on the gloves to participate in “Fight For Charity,” a decade-old annual boxing match that raises money for a variety of organizations focused on children, families, and educational issues.
Most people hold charitable giving in high regard and, while the donor’s involvement may stem from purely altruistic reasons, the action also reflects well on his or her character. If the donor is a business owner, his or her participation may inspire others to follow suit and, as a result, raise consciousness about the cause or charity. There’s no denying it will also boost the business’ profile.
But marketing should focus on the charity itself, not your company. “We don’t market our charitable giving,” says Seth Selesnow, Alure’s marketing director. “We’ll go on Facebook and teach people about the events [we participate in] and the events do their own marketing.”
With the boxing match, the FFC organization markets on its own—including a website, videos, and other pre-fight buzz opportunities, like having guest bartenders at a local bar—and, as a sponsor, Alure’s name is on all of the promotional materials. In-house, Selesnow focuses on Ferro’s journey to the boxing ring with a blog and videos posted online. “As people follow the story they will learn about the charity.” He doesn’t send out press releases about good deeds; instead, they become part of the website and Facebook page. “Through research and word-of-mouth people can see what kind of organization we are.”
If you’re going to get involved with charities, suggests Selesnow, “start with things you’re passionate about. Don’t go out and find a charity because you think it will get you publicity.” Alure is involved in many industry-related charities because it can lend its expertise “when it comes to labor. That’s a way for employees to get involved in as well.”
Attending charitable events is good for team bonding and camaraderie, Selesnow says. While Alure was involved in Extreme Makeover: Home Edition for several years, employees also go out as a group wearing company shirts to March of Dimes, Habitat for Humanity, and other events. These things “get employees energized,” Selesnow says.
Alure has reached out to its vendors and other contacts to sponsor Ferro and support the boxing match, which takes place November 25. Ferro, who has been training for several months, will face another amateur. “I’m looking forward to getting in there and kicking some butt,” he says. —Stacey Freed is a senior editor at Remodeling.