If we’ve learned anything from the meteoric rise of the one-for-one business model made popular by TOMS, it’s that do-gooders do good business. Not that profit should be your sole motivation for taking on a social initiative, but it certainly helps. The business of dentistry is challenging these days, with practices across the country reporting fewer new patients and difficulty coaxing their existing patients into the chair for anything less than a dental emergency. Adopting a social cause looks good, does good, and feels good for dental teams and patients alike. Here are a few dentists who’ve nailed it.
Dr. Steven Ellinwood and Dr. Todd Briscoe of Fort Wayne, IN engaged in a friendly competition to see whose practice could raise the most nonperishable food for a local food bank of their choice. Dr. Ellinwood, whose office chose the Associated Churches of Fort Wayne to receive donations, is no stranger to giving back to the community. Ellinwood participates in several charitable events each year, including canned food drives, bowling fundraisers, glove collections, and a Halloween candy buyback program. Dr. Briscoe’s team championed a smaller food bank nearby.
Cleveland dentist Dr. Michael Stern made headlines when he hosted the first Dentistry From the Heart event in Ohio. For an entire day, Dr. Stern and his team offered fillings, cleaning, and extractions free of charge for more than 100 patients. Since 2001, Dentistry From the Heart events in 48 states have provided treatment for 45,000 people, valued at $8 million. The event, along with other DFH events in other states, generated major publicity and spots in the local paper, magazines, television stations, and blogs. Learn how to host an event in your state here.
Using the same one-for-one business model as TOMS, BOGO Brush donates one toothbrush for each eco-friendly bamboo toothbrush purchased. When you consider that Americans toss 450 million toothbrushes each year, you can see why the 100% biodegradable BOGO Brush is so popular. Brushes are available singly or in a yearly subscription.
Consider partnering with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and its Give Back a Smile program. Give Back a Smile provides restorative dentistry for men and women whose teeth have been damaged or knocked out as the result of domestic violence. “Whenever I looked in the mirror I saw a monster. Today, I see a beautiful woman,” says one recipient, who lost a tooth and an eye at the hands of her ex-boyfriend.
I couldn’t resist including this one. Dr. Ken Harris of Riveredge Cosmetic Dentistry split all proceeds from the sale of his “Nothing But a Smile” calendar to two cancer charities. The calendar, which featured nude images of a well-known rugby player and several male patients, ranging in age from 22-74 years old. Only in England.
How does your practice give back to the community? Leave a comment below.
About Jill: Jill Nastasia, CEO and Director of Business Development at MDPM Consulting, is a mother of two and a dental devotee. Questions about marketing, social media, or branding? Contact Jill at 972-781-8861, or send her an email.