Chef Wil Pelly, Chef de Cuisine at Diablitos Cantina, prepares empanadas at Urban Eats Cafe / Photo by Patrick Delhougne 

In the forward to Cause Marketing for Nonprofits: Partner for Purpose, Passion, and Profits, Carol Cone wrote:

Eighty-two percent of Americans say they have a more positive image of a business when it joins hands with a nonprofit, and 76 percent have a more positive image of the nonprofit when it partners with a company.

 

On February 23, the St. Louis Area Foodbank partnered with Small Plates 314, a local St. Louis event that aims to combine exciting culinary cuisine and networking.

The first gathering was held at Urban Eats Café, where a diverse group of people networked and learned how to prepare empanadas from Chef Wil Pelly, Chef de Cuisine at Diablitos Cantina.

Jeremy Stewart, Courtney Lytle and Lauren Salesman wanted to incorporate giving back into the event.

When all parties involved are in sync, cause marketing can be as natural and effective as a skein of Earth City geese. In this particular flight, the Foodbank achieved two primary objectives.

 First, by inviting me to speak at the event, Smallplates314 enabled the Foodbank to deliver on our mission to educate the public about hunger.

Also, halfway through the night, Lauren asked me to make a guest Tweet on her laptop.

I tweeted: “Chef Wil Pelly is putting on a great show, the crowd learned a little about @STLFoodbank and good eatin’ is right around the corner!”

By posting multiple messages on social media about the Foodbank, Smallplates314 raises awareness for hunger relief in the community.

Second, by donating a portion of the proceeds, Smallplates314 helps raise the resources necessary to feed hungry people in the community.

As a bonus, networking with entrepreneurs and young professionals set the stage for future partnerships.

You could say Smallplates314 helps the Foodbank to establish a positive image with 76 percent of St. Louisans, although it felt like 100 percent at the event.

Giving back also benefits Smallplates314 in two unique ways.

First, by channeling their resources (ticket sales, social media, speaking engagements) to fight hunger, Smallplates314 enhances their image in the community.

I asked one woman at the event, “How did you hear about tonight?”

She said, “In the e-newsletter from Sauce Magazine. I thought it sounded interesting, and I felt good about going knowing that it benefitted the Foodbank.”

Second, partnering with the Foodbank increases visibility for Smallplates314 — this blog being just one example of that!

It was a fun evening for networking and learning about food.

We are grateful giving back was also included in the event, and we look forward to partnering with more businesses during events like this one.

When we partner with a business — like birds in flight — all parties involved help each other reach a final destination.

See pictures from the event at – https://www.smallplates314.com

    Patrick Delhougne is a development associate at the St. Louis Area Foodbank.