Companies from all industries are discovering the promotional benefits of using social media to promote charities, local causes and fundraising initiatives. The promotional opportunities of social media platforms include promoting charity events, providing prizes for contests, matching fundraising efforts of community groups and bringing attention to worthwhile causes.

Companies no longer need to rely on interlocutors to deliver their messages but can directly engage consumers and audiences through social platforms. According to a Georgetown University Center for Social Impact study, 82 percent of Americans agree that the social media are effective for promoting conversations about issues and causes. About 68 percent of respondents admitted that they were likely to donate to worthwhile social media causes, and 53 percent were likely to volunteer their time and services.

Five companies that are giving back to the community include the following trailblazing organizations:


1. Miller Brewing, eBay and PayPal Support Breast Cancer Research

A cooperative Facebook campaign to raise money for breast cancer research and charities earned more than $70,000. The hashtag #BeatCancer campaign involved the initiative’s sponsors—eBay, PayPal and the Miller Brewing Company—donating $0.01 to the charity every time the hashtag “#BeatCancer” was mentioned in a blog post, Facebook status update or Tweet.


2. Chobani and Neighborhood Events

Chobani reaped tremendous benefits by promoting neighborhood events, healthy yogurt recipes and its signature line of yogurt for kids. Visitors to the company’s social media pages can find coupons and follow the company promotional bus’s progress as it tours events and festivals throughout the United States.


3.  Nu Skin and Force for Good

Nu Skin and its signature Force for Good Foundation donate $0.25 for every Epoch product sold. Based in Provo, Utah, the charity supports efforts to improve the lives of children through better nourishment, medical care and education. Initiatives include disaster-relief projects, building schools and libraries and helping children escape the cycle of poverty in emerging societies throughout the world. The foundation has funded projects in more than 50 countries, and Nu Skin covers all the charity’s administrative costs so that all charitable donations go directly to relief and building projects.


4. Tyson Foods and Its Monterey County Hunger Relief Campaign

Tyson Hunger Relief regularly donates food and cash to food banks throughout the country but recently concentrated on providing food for Monterey County Hunger Relief. Tyson agreed to donate 100 pounds of food to the bank for each “like” it received on its Facebook page. The food bank received a truck of food, and Tyson added 900 new members to its online community of supporters. Tyson has also established working partnerships with most major hunger-relief charities such as Feeding America, Lift Up America and Share Our Strength. The company donates to 50 food banks each year, sponsors student food drives and provides disaster-relief aid for worldwide victims of catastrophic events.


5. Kohl’s and the Kohl’s Cares Philanthropic Program

Kohl’s and its signature charity support children’s health and education initiatives in communities throughout the United States. Since being organized in 2000, the charity has raised more than $257 million to support nutrition programs, community immunizations, scholarships and education initiatives. Projects include hometown and hospital partnerships, soccer programs, fundraising through gift cards and charitable-cause merchandising. Determined to capitalize on social media platforms, Kohl’s spent $5 per name to collect two million Facebook fans for future promotional, marketing and charitable fundraising initiatives.

Advertising can be expensive for companies, and any promotion provides uncertain targeting and risks offending customers through heavy-handed sales efforts. Enlisting in social causes through popular online platforms not only provides favorable word-of-mouth and media connections but also allows your company to generate positive results in the neighborhood, state, country or global community.