Community Spotlight: Signet Inc.
Giving back builds team morale, helps the community and creates a positive impact. Promo Marketing spoke to Katie Smart, director of marketing of Signet Inc., Memphis, Tenn., to learn about Youth Villages (YV), a nonprofit with which Signet Inc. collaborates, that is dedicated to helping troubled children and their families.
Promo Marketing: Can you briefly describe Youth Villages?
Katie Smart: Youth Villages is a private nonprofit dedicated to helping emotionally and behaviorally troubled children and their families live successfully. Each year YV helps more than 23,000 children and families in more than 20 states by going in their homes and working intensively to try and keep the children in the home. If that isn’t possible, they have residential programs, adoption programs and fostering programs all aimed at helping children have a chance at leading a successful, meaningful life.
PM: Why did Signet Inc. pick this particular cause?
KS: David Tate, president of Signet, said they are the most progressive charity he has ever encountered. “They have passion, methods, measurements, accountability and all the other things that make a company great, but they are a cause. A cause that is managed this well and has such vision is a great investment,” Tate said.
PM: What do you like about working with Youth Villages?
KS: It’s great partnering with an organization that truly gives back to our community. In this industry, we don’t always see the end result, so at times it’s easy to wonder if your job really makes a difference. Our work with Youth Villages lets us give back, and we know we are making an impact. It’s a good feeling to align your company with organizations of purpose.
PM: What part do promotional products play in Youth Villages?
KS: By providing branded merchandise, we help further the mission of Youth Villages by raising awareness. Youth Villages is very keen on branding because its cause makes a measureable difference and it is successful at what it does. It wants its identity visible in as many ways as possible. At every event, Youth Villages has visible branding on its employees, social media, advertising and fundraising. Promotional products, worn and carried with pride, are walking billboards of the mission and cause of Youth Villages. Signet manages the YV Gear website, providing gifts, giveaways and wearables branded with its logo. There are also large events, such as the YV 5K/10 miler, Soup Sunday, dodgeball tournament, etc., where we provide branded merchandise. Youth Villages also has an incredibly unique incentive program that is carried out yearly. Any employee who donates a portion of his or her pay to the organization can elect to receive a gift, branded with the YV logo. This is a great way to thank him or her for their contribution.
PM: Do you have any advice to give to others looking to get involved in charitable works in general?
KS: Every day we are raising awareness for for-profit clients, so we believe it’s our duty to help nonprofits and charitably focused organizations do the same. I recommend looking to both your client base and your employees to see where they are already volunteering their time. Getting involved with a charity will sometimes involve unpaid hours, and the work should feel rewarding, so your employees should feel connected to the cause. Once you pick a cause, use your expertise in branding and your resources to help that organization and its volunteers look professional and be more profitable. Your clients and your employees are already looking for you to be socially accountable, so it’s up to you to step up to the plate.
PM: How can readers get involved with or contribute to Youth Villages?
KS: Youth Villages operates in more than 20 states, and there are opportunities to volunteer, mentor, fundraise and donate. Check out www.youthvillages.org to find out more information on how to get involved.
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