Tuesday, December 21, 2010

(1) Loeb's holiday card. (2) Focus your charitable contributions

I like Loeb & Loeb's music-themed e-card.  It has a positive holiday message, non-cliche'd music, and a visually interesting execution.

They mention that they donate to many different charities, and identify each of them (full list below):

Law firms like supporting their partners' and clients' favorite charities.  Most firms donate to many different causes, based not on any particular strategy but on whoever asks.  I always ask firms what their strategic goal is for their sponsorship dollars and charitable contributions.  Most firms don't really have one, apart from simply "giving back to their communities," which is important, but too amorphous to be measurable. 

My concern is that at the end of the year many law firms have donated a lot of total dollars, but done very little actual, tangible good.  Giving $10 each to 100,000 different causes helps no one -- but giving $1 million to a single charity can change lives.  So could $100,000 each to ten smaller charities where that's serious money, etc.

What if firms decided what cause they really value, which one or two smaller charities truly supports their firm's institutional values, then became a primary sponsor.  

At 300-attorney Loeb & Loeb, where they apparently donate a significant amount of money each year, they could really do some tangible good, see a measurable ROI, and achieve a result they could point to and feel good about.  Here's the complete list - it's huge:
Sure, you'll occasionally have to kick in when big clients "ask" that you support their pet charities. But if you concentrate your financial resources, you can achieve significant and measurable results, boost internal morale, and build your brand.  Try it.

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