Philanthropy Meets Market Research: How Your Company Can Drive Actionable Change This Holiday Season

Posted by Op4G Staff on December 16, 2021

PhilanthropyMeetsMrx_Blog_PhotoOp4G Florida Team donating food to One Heart Orlando

For market research companies, the holiday season isn’t just a time to give clients insights – it’s a time to give back! This is especially important to us at Op4G. Since our founding in 2010, we have given panelists the opportunity to donate between 25% and 100% of their survey earnings to one of our 300+ nonprofit partners. This has allowed us to raise nearly half a million dollars in donations to charities across the United States! 

Of course, there are many ways for market research companies to give back to communities. If philanthropy isn’t already a part of your business model, consider one (or more) of the following approaches. These methods can be pursued any time of year—but the “giving season” is certainly an ideal time to start!

  • Run a Charity Drive: Whether for food, clothes, toys, etc, drives are a classic way to give. Simply ask staff to donate new items or to bring in unused (or gently used) items from home. And don't be afraid to get creative! For example, our team recently ran a Thanksgiving food drive where we split up both remote and in-office staff into teams. Each team could collect as many food items as they wanted to donate, and in addition, Op4G would donate $1 to a nonprofit of their choosing for each item collected. The "winning" team that collected the most items received lunch on the company's behalf. A little friendly competition never hurt anyone! 
  • Offer Skill-Based Services: Not everyone on your team can build homes for Habitat for Humanity or make Christmas dinner for your local soup kitchen, but they all know a thing or two about market research! So why not offer pro bono market research services to a nonprofit? As explained in this previous Opinions4Good blog, market research is rarely a priority for nonprofits. Yet, basic research (on donor demographics and attitudes, beneficiary needs, competitors, etc.) can greatly improve nonprofits’ communications, fundraising, and efficiency.
  • Share Office Space: In a similar vein, your company likely has office space and other resources (printers, photocopier, etc.) that it could share with a nonprofit. For many market research companies, such space and resources are going unused thanks to pandemic-related work from home arrangements. It only makes sense to put it to use for a good cause, such as a nonprofit board meeting, annual general assembly, or fundraising event.
  • Support the Market Research Education Foundation (MREF): The MREF is an “industry-wide initiative that involves researchers from every level of the marketing research industry…to provide the tools necessary to give children access to a quality education." Specifically, it funds education services, after-school care, essential school supplies, employment preparation programs, and more. Companies can support the MREF by becoming a sponsor, donating funds, volunteering, or participating in events. The 2021 Race Around the World for Education event involved over 1,100 market research industry participants!
  • Match Donations: Many businesses cut a check to favorite charities. Others donate a percentage of their sales or profit. But to really magnify giving, incentivize your employees (and clients) to give too! Promise to match their donations to a particular nonprofit or one of their choice. If your budget is tight, limit the amount that your company will match (e.g. up to $200 per employee) or set an appropriate ratio (e.g. $1 for every $5 donated). Remember to factor in that your matching donations are likely tax-deductible—consult an accountant for more information.
  • Give through Gifts: With the holidays around the corner, your company may be searching for gifts for staff. Well look no further! There are a wide array of charities selling beautiful gifts, with proceeds going toward their cause. For instance, you can purchase this hand-blown glass pitcher through UNICEF, which will fund 27 doses of measles vaccines for children in need. Or purchase freshly baked cookies from our partner Cookies for Kids' Cancer to fund pediatric cancer research. 
  • Incorporate in Branding: How many people are on your company’s mailing list? How many visit your website or follow you on social media? By simply adding “proud supporter of [x nonprofit]” to your communications, you could generate significant exposure for a nonprofit, potentially translating to new donations or volunteers. Plus, being a supporter or ambassador for a charity may help you attract new, socially conscious clientele, thus boosting your company’s revenue as well!
  • Volunteer en Masse: Volunteering as an individual is great, but volunteering as a team is even better! Set aside a paid day for your team to volunteer for a local charity. You may want to choose a typically slow business day, such as the day before a holiday weekend. Also, select a volunteer activity that connects to employees in some way. For example, 3M scientists go to schools and “share the magic of science with students through demonstrations and hands-on experiments." Whatever you decide, it is sure to be a day that creates a meaningful impact, excites staff, and promotes teams bonding.

Click here to view Op4G's full list of nonprofit partners

Topics: Philanthropy