If you know me, you know I love the Phoenix Suns. Like, a lot. In fact, I am even a founding member of Suns Charities 88, a network of emerging and established community leaders focused on raising funds to benefit children in Arizona as an extension of Phoenix Suns Charities.
Also, if you know me, you know I am passionate about helping my clients develop and enhance their community relations programs, so much so, I’ve volunteered my own time to many of their projects of passion, like AXA Advisors Southwest’s Weekend Jetaway and Subway Kids & Sports of Arizona.
My passion for the Suns and community relations ran smack dab into each other earlier this month during the Arizona Association for Economic Development luncheon, headlined by Phoenix Suns President Jason Rowley.
In his speech, he touched on the Suns’ current business and community focus. As you can imagine, what they’ve meant to the community and how they’ve given back is mind boggling. But, during the speech, Rowley also talked about all of the hundreds of projects and charities they take on “just because it is the right thing to do.” With these projects, he noted, there was no fanfare or press release, no photo captions or story pitches. The crowd cheered in approval of their generosity.
I, however, was the Debbi Downer of my table.
That is because I have been on the side of small nonprofits and families impacted by a major brand or corporate entity in a positive way. And when it wasn’t shouted from the mountaintops, we as the charity were deflated.
You see, the small things that amazing brands like the Suns do are BIG NEWS. They are the chance for the little nonprofits to tell their story to a grander audience. They are the chance to connect with a new demographic. They are opportunities missed if the brand does that completely altruistically and without fanfare.
To Rowley, thank you for everything that the Suns do every day. Please, shout it all from the rooftops – shout it all. That is perhaps an even more impactful way you can help our local nonprofits that with the donation of time or money.
What do you think? Should brands just do things “because they are the right thing to do” without fanfare? Or should they help the nonprofits to tell the story anywhere and everywhere possible?