Marketing Your Firm’s Charitable Work
There are so many positives that come from doing charitable work. Because of this, I’m a strong advocate of having my law firm clients participate in at least one community service project each year.
Below are 4 ways charitable work can positively impact a law firm. But please keep one overriding thought as you read them:
The reason to participate in charitable work is because it’s the right thing to do. None of the below would be worthwhile if you weren’t helping others.
First, your charitable work matters to clients. Large companies know this, which is why we often see charitable donations made during halftimes of highly watched sporting events. Law firms also need differentiators to win the best clients. It’s likely there are local firms with equally as impressive experience, education and fee structures as yours. Charitable work gives you the opportunity to show that there are things that matter to your attorneys and staff outside of making money. Furthermore, if a decision maker for a potential client is involved with a certain charity (e.g. American Cancer Society), and sees that you are too, your firm naturally has a much better chance of earning their business.
Second, it strengthens the relationships between a law firm’s lawyers and staff. I’ve even seen two employees of a firm that didn’t get along repair a relationship after being teamed at a community service project. Well-chosen events also bring employees’ spouses and children together for a really great cause. It sends everyone home feeling good not only about the contribution they made, but also about the place they (or their spouse or parent) work. This is an often underestimated benefit of charitable work, and goes a long way toward building a really great workplace… and earning the support of family members who tolerate the long hours and stress that are part of a successful law practice.
Third, you connect and get the chance to work with very committed staff from the charity. Not only are these folks almost always an inspiration, but they know and communicate with a tremendous number of people on a weekly basis. Having such a person in the community that knows and views your law firm in a positive way is a real asset, and a great source of quality future referrals.
Last, charitable work provides a number of ways to market the firm from a more technical perspective. For example, backlinks to your firm’s website (which are great for search engine optimization) can be gained from press releases, the charity’s online properties, and also electronic newspapers and bar publications that cover the event.
Perhaps the most important way your charitable work can make a difference is that it may encourage other lawyers to get involved in ways that help our community. Our profession needs that.