Scholarships: Good for the Community and Your Business
Written by Amy Hinman
You may have seen scholarships circulating the internet in your industry, especially as the end of the school year approaches. If you’ve ever wondered why businesses offer scholarships or how to create one yourself, you’re in the right place. In this blog, we’ll explore the benefits of creating a scholarship and talk about what to consider when you’re creating one for your business.
Scholarships Matter for Your Business. Here’s Why
At LaFleur, we offer two scholarships each year for aspiring student writers across the country. Good writing drives business and marketing forward, no matter whether it comes in the form of ground-breaking journalism, memorable ad slogans, or helpful and easy-to-read website copy. So, when we have an opportunity to invest in the writers and marketers of the future, offering a scholarship opportunity makes good sense.
It creates much more than just a feel-good moment when we offer today’s youth and tomorrow’s writers financial support in their educational endeavors.
Scholarships Reflect Your Values in the Community
Two of our core values at LaFleur are education and community involvement, and offering a scholarship is a way to act on our values in a tangible way. When you believe in something, whether it’s a value like creativity, a discipline like math, or a cause like fighting distracted driving, creating a scholarship brings that value to life in the community.
Scholarships also help foster connections. As you promote your scholarship, your company, organization, or firm develops links to other like-minded professionals in your field and creates goodwill. In some cases, this can also mean soft lead development. Now, we aren’t saying that you or your company should create a scholarship for profit-minded reasons, but we do believe that generosity connects us to likeminded folks and creates a community culture of abundance and paying it forward. And that kind of culture is good for everyone.
Backlinks: An Unintended Benefit of Scholarships
There’s one aspect of offering a scholarship that many don’t know about: backlinks, which are links to your website from other sites. Like keywords, images, and other SEO elements, Google uses backlinks to understand how relevant and trustworthy your site is and then rank it accordingly in search results. When you receive links from a site that has high traffic and a longstanding reputation of producing quality content, these links are “worth” more than links you might get from a low-traffic, less established site. (In other words: a link from the New York Times is much more valuable for SEO than a link from the blog your friend started last month.)
When you create a scholarship, it provides a potential reason for highly respected and authoritative sites like news outlets, scholarship directories, colleges, and nonprofits to link to your site. And even though improved search rankings should be considered a secondary benefit of scholarships, it’s not a benefit you should ignore.
Want to Offer a Scholarship Opportunity? Make It Your Own
The key to creating a unique scholarship is to find and develop an opportunity that captures what your company or firm values most. Try to come up with an essay topic that’s distinct from what’s already out there. Many law firms offer scholarships for the best essay on the dangers of drunk or distracted driving. While this started as a great idea, it’s quickly becoming commonplace and overdone.
Instead, think about your other values and how you can connect with students who share them. Even if an academic scholarship isn’t right for your business, there are other ways to get involved in the community while still earning backlinks. A few examples:
- Hold a “Nominate Your Teacher” essay contest, with the winning entrant earning funds for supplies or other classroom needs
- Offer grants for local nonprofits that support projects you care about
- Make time for you and your staff to volunteer with local nonprofits and community organizations (preferably on a paid basis, if you want to show you’re serious about it) and then write about the results on your blog
At the heart of an effective scholarship or essay program is a belief in the work you’re doing and a commitment to giving back to your community. You don’t have to follow a formula to get great results and make a real difference.
Want to Create Your Own Scholarship Campaign? LaFleur Can Help
If you’re struggling to think of a way to give back and build connections while standing out from the crowd, our creative marketing team can help. At LaFleur, we know how to create philanthropic campaigns that capture the heart of your company, help others succeed, and build connections that support you and your business for years to come.
To learn more about how we can help you create a scholarship, earn backlinks, or implement creative digital marketing solutions, get in touch today! Call us at (888) 222-1512 or fill out our online contact form to get started.