Spreading Sunshine to Brighten Communities: How to drive teamwork and community support while creating a lasting impact.

Author:Watson, Charles

Giving back feels good. Uniting franchisees and their employees with a common goal that further connects them to their customers feels even better. And when a brand is aligned with a cause that has an authentic connection to its mission and identity, amazing results can be accomplished.

While mission statements are commonplace, companies have an opportunity to bring their vision to life through charitable giving. During the past 11 years, Tropical Smoothie Cafe has raised nearly $6 million for Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Located on gorgeous Sebago Lake in Casco, Maine, Camp Sunshine is a one-of-a-kind camp designed not only to focus on the needs of children diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, but also on the needs of the entire family. There, they find the opportunity to regroup, re-energize and restore hope for the future.

For Tropical Smoothie, inspiring healthier lifestyles is a company value that includes helping others and strengthening relationships, like those of the deserving families helped by Camp Sunshine. This same outward focus can create an inner strength within any franchise brand willing to do the work to identify the right charitable partner that inspires passion. Communicate that passion clearly with teams in the field and provide the tools, resources and encouragement to execute a successful fundraising campaign.


There are countless nonprofit organizations out there doing incredible work. Start with identifying causes that have an authentic connection to your brand's mission and identity. Next, do the research on the charity's ratings and its leadership team. Are they people you feel comfortable going into business with? Can your organization connect with the executives and staff to form a real partnership? Will your company's efforts make a meaningful impact on their mission? Consider these questions first.


The real key to a successful charitable campaign is communicating the reason behind it and bringing it to life in each of your locations. If the franchise owner doesn't understand the connection, the hourly employees are less likely to embrace it. This is one reason why thorough training materials that explain campaign components and operational procedures are crucial. These can include:

* An implementation guide that captures all components of the campaign

* System-wide webinars sharing high-level details about the...

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