Working With Charities and Hosting Community Events: Strategies and Benefits for Self-Storage Operators

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By Julie Purcell

Getting involved in the community is a good thing. Most of us volunteer every now and again, donate to the local food bank during the holiday season, or take a few items every so often to a local clothing charity.

From a self-storage operator’s perspective, is getting involved in community causes really worth the time and effort? Yes! It isn’t always easy. It can be a big time commitment and take a lot of planning, but it also can be very rewarding for you and your community. Bottom line, it brings you rentals and helps a good cause.

Working with a charity doesn’t necessarily mean donating money―it’s so much more than that. It means putting together a mutually beneficial partnership and making use of everyone’s current customer base and business strengths. Here are some simple strategies to working with charitable and other community groups.

Choosing an Organization

When choosing a group with which to work, there are guidelines to follow. First, pick a charity close to your heart. If you feel really strongly about the fight against breast cancer, find an awareness group. If you’re an animal lover, consider working with a pet rescue or adoption charity. If your facility is in an area where “going green” is gaining momentum, working with a local recycling company could be beneficial.

Consider choosing a group that’s geographically close to your facility. Storage customers usually live or work within a five-mile radius of where they store. When the organization talks about how great you are and refers people to you, you’ll be just a short distance away. If you host events together, the vicinity will be much more convenient for everyone involved.

Choose an organization in which you’ll feel comfortable. Read its website and talk to a few people who’ve worked with the group. See if you feel at ease with the group’s dynamics, goals and mission. Consider local vs. national. Keep in mind if you pick a bigger group, developing a partnership may be more time-consuming than if you work with a smaller one, but it will also have more name recognition.

Finally, look for a group that’s active in its community. The more involved it is, the more opportunities it will have to spread the good word about your facility. Finding a group that needs storage itself or works with people who do is an extra perk.

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