Being part of your community, is the best and most inexpensive form of advertising possible.
People like to support businesses, that support causes or groups they are part of. They have to go to the dentist, why not go to one that is supporting the local food bank, that they also support.
There are a few things to think about though.
The first is that you want to align your practice with organizations or causes that you believe in. That speak to your company culture and personal beliefs. Be diligent in not saying “yes” all the time and really think about what your ideal patient would think of they saw your practice name alongside a particulate group? If you have created a solid vision, culture and ideal patient for your practice, then it should be easy to determine who these people would be giving to already, which means they would support you in your sponsorship.
Have a system for how people or companies can ask for donations or sponsorship. This can be a form on your website to make it easy. Get their tax if number. The reason they are needing help and what they are requesting. Let them know that you will get back to them within 30 days. Don’t rush these decisions!
You will want a budget for how much you want to donate per year. Stick to this. Although it is beneficial to give, you are still running a business and well, there are bills to pay.
Have a mix of one time sponsorships, like supporting the local little league to having a monthly, ongoing donation to a specific group that your office supports. This is one that can be the most powerful in terms of your culture and public outreach. It will be something that your practice and team talk about on social media, in the office, website and more. For example, for every 10 new patients you give X to a specific organization. Make sure they are mentioning this on their website and social media also!
Unfortunately, I have met many dentists and other business owners that don’t want to give away a dime. Trust me, I do get it. However, we live in a very connected society and potential patients like to see companies supporting their community.