Mixing business and philanthropy is not uncommon; many people and organizations use their workplace to promote charitable causes and help others. An important thing to think about for those in the business of attracting business is how much philanthropy can actually increase your business prospects and recognition.
For example, Dr. Michael Rosen, a dentist in the Lutherville-Timonium area, is making an appointment at the dentist more than just a ritual cleaning but an opportunity to do good in your community and promote his business.
Rosen opened The Center of Dentistry shortly after his wife gave birth to their second child. He launched a Facebook group which quickly increased to more than 500 followers after a Red Nose Day promotion where a donation was made to the Baltimore Hunger Project based on the number of likes and shares his page received. As the summer months went on, Rosen did a school supply drive, asking patients to donate school supplies for the Harambe Center in West Baltimore (formerly the Kid Safe Zone, a cause near and dear to my heart) and then donated a dollar for each item he received in addition to the supplies.
“Starting my own dental practice has allowed me to be a positive influence not only in the field of dentistry but also in the community,” Rosen says. “It’s a great feeling to work hard and pay it forward.”
Rosen plans to continue philanthropic events every month. He will have a canned food drive for Thanksgiving and a winter clothing drive. He even welcomes waiting room activities, including writing thank you notes to Maryland’s veterans. By doing this he is more than just a dentist — he is a source of good in his community.
When people think of where they can donate items to or who can help them promote an important neighborhood event, their first thought isn’t always their dentist– or their lawyer– but maybe it should be. Rosen’s model is one that we should all strive to emulate– especially in the legal community where referrals are such an important source of business development.
So, the next time you are in a waiting room, or thinking of a design for your own lobby or waiting area, think about what you can do to show that you are more than your job title. Have a few cards to decorate for a homeless shelter, have some supplies to make blessing bags for children in hospitals — the possibilities are endless. Rosen probably can’t make everyone look forward to the dentist, but he is a true example of a professional looking forward — and building a business on doing good for his community and his clients.