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5 Tips for a Successful We Care Program as a Corporate Giving Strategy

Kendall Cares Corporate Giving Program Earns Cash for Eugene Schools

5 Tips for a Successful We Care Program at Kendall Automotive Group

Kendall Automotive Group embodies everything we think of when we see or hear about a “We Care Program” as a Corporate Philanthropy strategy or part of a larger CSR program.

Until recently, my only experience with auto dealers was as a customer either buying or servicing a car.  As a buyer, I find the process stressful, uncomfortable and expensive, or in the case of servicing a car, time consuming.

What I didn’t know was how deeply they care about their employees and the communities where they do business and where their employees live and work.  My eyes have been opened here at GivingTrax where we help businesses manage & share their community engagement programs.

Many automotive dealers, like Kendall Automotive Group, have not only mastered cause marketing campaigns, but are truly making a difference in their communities.

Kendall Cares Corporate Philanthropy

The Kendall We Care Program, named Kendall Cares stands out not only for its cause marketing results, but for the social impact results.

So, what are the secrets to Kendall’s We Care Program’s success?

5-Keys to Success:

  • Corporate Commitment to Community Engagement & Giving Back
  • Strategic Nonprofit and School Partnerships
  • Consumer Engagement
  • Employee Engagement
  • Public Relations Campaign

An example of these 5 tips for We Care Programs can be seen with Kendall’s Drive for Education cause marketing program.  Kendall Cares Drive for Education embodies all 5 of the secrets to a successful We Care Program.

Here’s how it works:

Kendall Cares Corporate Giving Supports Local Schools

Tip #1:  Corporate Commitment for Community Engagement

First, giving back is core to Kendall’s family owned culture.  They have a firm belief in their responsibility as a business to support the communities in which they do business, live and work.

Kendall regularly supports Food for Lane County, the March of Dimes, and many other charities.

This commitment is shared with employees and consumers.  It’s in their culture and backed by their time, money and long-term support.  Kendall makes giving back fun for employees by creating such events as donating $5 each week to earn wearing jeans on Fridays, poking fun at managers including throwing pies in their face, kissing pigs, dunk tanks – you get the idea.

Kendall continued to give back even during the economic downturn.  They never wavered in their commitment to their surrounding communities.

Kendall We Care Program - Drive for Education

Tip #2:  Create Strategic nonprofit and school partnerships

Over a period of two years, Kendall’s We Care Program fostered and ultimately received a commitment from three local public school districts to allow Kendall to help fund money to buy math books, technology supplies that the schools needed (computers, iPads, T.V.s), to fund school field trips, and thousands of dollars to individual schools that they could use however they choose.

Kendall Cares Corporate Giving Supports Arts

Tip #3:  Consumer Engagement – Include a way for your customers to participate:

Kids and their parents earn Drive for Education points for their School.

They are earned by:

–          Voting for their School on Kendall’s “We Care” Facebook Page

–          Taking Test Drives

–          Participating Art Contests (Art placed on display at Kendall auto dealerships)

–          Paper Form Filled out for Every Dollar Spent in our Stores with $1 = 1 point

(Employees participate in collecting forms to foster Employee Engagement).

Schools in each district are categorized into two groups:

–          Over 400 Students in the School

–          Under 400 Students in the School

Each quarter, the top schools with the most points in each category, earn $2,000 for their school.  That’s 16 schools between the three school districts that will each receive awards of $2,000 each quarter.  Kendall also holds quarterly contests for schools to compete for additional funds through the Kendall Drive for Education We Care Program, for a total of $250,000 each year – that is making a difference to cash starved local schools and their teachers!

Kendall Cares Corporate Giving engages Kids and Families of their Employees

Tip #4:  Employee Engagement – Involve Employees in Community Engagement Programs and We Care Programs:

At Kendall, not only do employees get involved in giving back to the community, but so do their kids.  The kids love helping their own school to earn points and can participate by encouraging their parents and friends’ parents to vote on Facebook, participate in the different fun contests and to take a test drive.

Tip #5:  Public Relations Campaign – Raise awareness of your We Care Program directly and by leveraging the nonprofit’s or school’s network.

Kendall Cares Corporate Philanthropy Program - Can Do Food Drive

Nonprofits and schools have an easy way to give back to the businesses that support them and that’s by promoting their sponsors.  For example, the schools participating in Drive for Education program:

–          Place a sticker in the math books purchased through the program that says:

“Provided by Kendall Drive for Education”

–          Send out notices to parents and school families

–          Participate in public events to receive funds donated through the program

–          Publically acknowledge the partnership with Kendall Automotive Group

Kendall Automotive’s Cause Marketing & Public Relations Campaign includes advertising, facebook sharing including a dedicated page for Kendall Cares and public events throughout their many locations.

About Kendall Automotive Group:

Kendall Auto Group is family-owned and operated company with car dealerships in Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. As one of the largest auto dealership groups in the Northwest, Kendall represents 19 automobile brands in the communities of Eugene (Lane County), Bend,  Boise (Treasure Valley), Lewiston, Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Wasilla.

Whether it’s the customer relationships they create, the communities they serve, or the company they love, the Kendall name means a lot of different things besides great prices on quality cars, trucks, and SUVs.

At Kendall Auto Group, they create trustworthy relationships with future, current, and past customers by caring for them with courtesy, respect, and fairness.  Through knowledgeable, accurate and efficient service they always strive to do the right thing by their customers.

Exemplified by the Kendall Cares program, they invest their time and resources into the communities and causes they care deeply about.   They are dedicated to being an integral part of each community they serve. It’s how they connect with their customers to develop lifelong relationships; creating trust, demonstrating integrity, and proving that they are committed to more than just their bottom line.

About Kendall Cares:

At Kendall, they love to get involved in the things that matter to them and their community.   As a family-owned business, they know first-hand the importance of buying, living, and being local.

Through responsible business practices, they strive to be positive and productive stewards of their community and environment.   They care about  customers, employees and their community, and to show their appreciation,   they give back – heavily.

Kendall and its employees are proud to support the various communities they serve.    Kendall Cares is designed to give back to the community through a variety of partnerships and initiatives throughout the year.


About GivingTrax:

GivingTrax makes it easy to give back at work by offering cloud software to manage corporate philanthropy, cause marketing, we care programs, and employee engagement programs including employee matching gifts, and customer matched giving.   We are not affiliated with Kendall Automotive Group.   Find out more at https://www.givingtrax.com/