Over the past 30 years, the number of charitable organizations has skyrocketed. And with the National Philanthropic Trust reporting that there are more than a million deserving charities in the U.S. alone, quick-serve brands are presented with an overwhelming number of options when it comes to choosing the right charitable partner.
Saxbys Coffee founder and president Nick Bayer believes he knows the best way to whittle the list down. He says it is important for a company’s administration to familiarize itself with a charitable organization before committing to a partnership. Bayer, for example, was a Big Brother in the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization for years before deciding to attach Saxbys to the institution.
“The community is the be-all and end-all for us … and I think Big Brothers Big Sisters is a tremendously community-oriented organization,” he says. “Based on my many years of experience with the organization, I felt like it would be a perfect organization for us to be able to partner with on a corporate level.”
Bayer says the community outreach and moral missions of the two organizations compliment each other extremely well. Big Brothers Big Sisters is a youth mentoring program that encourages children to pursue their dreams, while equipping them with tools for future success.
“When our young people have positive role models in their lives, they make our neighborhoods better,” Bayer says. “Ultimately, when they grow up and become productive citizens, they start to give back to the community as well.”
Bayer says it is important after founding a charitable partnership to continue pursuing new, exciting ways to increase brand awareness and raise funds for the cause. Saxbys is doing just that with a new in-store initiative called “Thrive by Saxbys.” The brand will exclusively offer a water bottle called “Thrive” and donate 10 cents of each bottle sold to Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“We didn’t want it to be an item that we don’t sell much of or an item that isn’t seen much outside of our coffee shops,” Bayer says. “It’s not uncommon to walk through different parts of the city or suburbs [of Philadelphia] and see our bottled water in people’s hands.”
Bayer says the marketing team aimed to incorporate both brands’ images and messages into the product.
“We used natural Philadelphia spring water and created a very cool, sort of upscale-looking bottle,” Bayer notes. “We thought thrive was a really great word that really went hand in hand with our mission statement and certainly with our partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters.”
Over time, Bayer hopes to grow the “Thrive” project and generate more revenue for charity. Saxbys sells hundreds of thousands of water bottles each year, so Bayer predicts “Thrive” will raise more than $25,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters this year.
“Most companies tell you they are community oriented, but they do very little to actually make their community better,” Bayer says. “This is our opportunity to actually help make our community better, help the young people who want to be helped and put them on the path to success. We’re really excited about that.”
By Marlee Murphy