Giving Back Creatively

Businesses have a responsibility to give back to the community. Often times, we see it as a fundraising event on a slow night, where a portion of the fee goes to a nonprofit or community group. This activity doubles as a marketing tool, because while it’s a good thing for the community group, it also attracts customers and ultimately benefits the business, too.

At Canvas and Cabernet, we like to take things a step further. We have an ongoing charitable contributions program: we participate in TAGG, we offer special staff pricing for nonprofit staff, and we provide monthly fundraising events.

Recently, we had an opportunity to do a creative activity and support Casting for Recovery. All of our artists except CaSandra, who was out of town, gave their time and painted 28 wooden fish for the participants of the Nebraska events. Needless to say, the evening was fun and meaningful…the artists were excited to be involved, and we enjoyed the opportunity to give back creatively!

Supporting our Community

The 2015 numbers are tallied, and we are proud to announce that last year, we donated $9,829 in cash and in-kind contributions (gift certificates/paintings, etc.) to local nonprofit and service organizations. We believe that it is our duty as a business to support and give back where we can. Sure, we would love to do more, but as a small organization–nearly $10,000 IS significant.

In addition to these direct contributions, we provide special nonprofit staff pricing, free meeting space for up to 3 hours, and host fundraisers every month for nonprofit organizations. We don’t just talk about it; we demonstrate our values every day!

New in 2016, our charitable contributions program is now going exclusively through Together A Greater Good (TAGG). TAGG allows guests to support the organization of their choice with the click of a button. Allowing our guests to designate a contribution on their behalf is empowering, and we hope our guests and nonprofit organizations will embrace this opportunity. Be sure to TAGG your purchase in our gallery!

 

Do You Discount?

Occasionally I receive a phone call or get asked questions about pricing– “Do you discount your prices on certain nights? Do you have group discounts? Do you offer Groupons?”.

When, and how much to discount is a great question, and one that all new businesses–maybe all businesses–struggle with.

What I’ve learned about marketing, is there are a few different schools of thought about discounting. One is to use discounts as an “easy” way to increase the number of clients. Makes sense, eh? The more you discount, the more people will utilize your programs/services, and you increase your constituents. That certainly is behind the idea of Groupon-like discounts, and they work. You get lots of clients–at least once. The challenge then becomes how to make them a regular customer.

Another idea is to discount on a night that you aren’t quite as busy. After all, some business is better than no business, right? It helps with planning and staffing, and helps business owners try to capture business on a day they may not otherwise have good luck.

As we were developing our business “brand” for Village Canvas and Cabernet, we recognized some of the values that were important to us. QUALITY is a fundamental value to our business; quality service, quality staffing, quality facility. We believe that customers recognize and are willing to pay for quality. Therefore, in our business model, we don’t offer discounted prices for groups, or certain nights of the week.

We do offer a complimentary drink to our customers, which could be considered a discount. We do offer a discount for nonprofit staff; for fundraisers. After-all, another Village Canvas and Cabernet corporate value is COMMUNITY, and offering special pricing for nonprofit staff and groups supports our values.

Marketing to me, is more than just getting clients through the door. In the words of Seth Godin (whose blog I highly recommend), “You get the customers you deserve“.  We are fortunate to attract customers who recognize and embrace quality, and who appreciate an art gallery setting. We have customers who are inspired by talented artists who make their living by creating, and who value and embrace a business that does good, instead of only doing well.

Marketing is understanding who you are, what you do, and how you are different from your competitor(s). It’s being willing to be the leader, not the follower.

Our corporate values: Quality. Community. Creativity. Originality. We live it everyday.

We give back–not by discounting our regular paint sessions, but by supporting groups and people who do so much for others (nonprofit groups).

Oh yeah…and we will throw in the first drink.