Monday, April 6, 2015

Guest Post from The Y Group's Joanne Yurich

Community Partnerships in Big D – a winning relationship for businesses and non-profits alike

I started my career in what most would consider an “it” job but after almost eight years and having my first set of twins (yes, I have two sets, plus one more!) I realized that I wanted more balance in my life – personally and professionally. How could I continue to do what I love while spending more time with my family AND feel good about what I’m doing for the community? Enter my business The Y Group, now in its ninth year, which combines all of these things. In addition to out-of-the-box PR and marketing, I’ve also found my niche in partnering my clients with local charities in what I consider win-win relationships.

Maybe you own a boutique or you are on the board of a local non-profit and you’re wondering how you can take your community partnerships to the next level.  Here are my quick tips to make it happen:

1.     Find meaningful connections.
Learn the story of the leaders of the business and find out what matters the most to them. Does the CEO have a mother suffering with Alzheimer’s? Do they have a heart for giving back to the communities where their products are made?
2.     Create mutually beneficial relationships.
You want to choose organizations or businesses that are just as excited about a partnership as you are. Don’t be afraid to ask how they can help you during the partnership, whether it’s through social media, newsletters or emails.
3.     Think outside of the box.
Have a brainstorm session and write down all of your ideas – sometimes the most far-fetched are the most successful. A book drive on Dr. Seuss’ birthday could get you lots of attention and bring in hundreds of books for a children’s hospital.

Two of my clients have events coming up that highlight what a good community partnership should be in my opinion (what’s a good blog post without a shameless self plug?). 

We launched a new program for Bikram Yoga Dallas called Positive Postures where we partner with a local charity each quarter to be the recipient of 100 percent of the class fee on the second Tuesday of each month.  The first quarter we raised more than $1,200 for Girls Inc. and the owners also taught yoga classes for the girls at their campus. This quarter we are partnering with Attitudes and Attire ® and the next class will be on April 14 at 6:30 p.m. at our West Village studio – join us!

Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse is hosting its 2nd Annual ‘It’s in the Sauce’ competition on Saturday, April 25, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at LOOK Cinemas, and it puts local celebrity chefs head-to-head in a cook-off using Sonny Bryan’s famous sauce.  Each celebrity chef chose a local non-profit to benefit from the event, including Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Susan G. Komen, Vogel Alcove and Youth Village Resources of Dallas. The event is emceed by Clarice Tinsley who is tirelessly committed to a number of non-profits in DFW. Tickets are available online here.

I feel so lucky to be able to create programs and events for clients that make a difference in our community.  Imagine what Dallas would look like if every business found a non-profit organization to partner with on initiatives small and large. We live in an amazing city – let’s build on that and start a movement to make ‘Everything bigger and [even] better in Big D.’

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