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August 25, 2008

Creative Capitalism and Bill Gates

Posted by Brad Abare | Filed under: Cause Marketing

Bill GatesThe August 11 issue of Time magazine had a great article by Bill Gates titled "How to Fix Capitalism." He makes a case for "creative capitalism" by mashing the economic system in which a free market distributes goods with the power and imagination to create brand-new markets. The result can be life-changing opportunities for the billions of people who have not benefited from Capitalism 1.0.

This idea of creative capitalism and it's not-so-distant cousin, cause marketing, have been a part of Personality conversations for years. We've argued that it should be—and for the most part is—in the DNA of organizations to want to do well by doing good. It's a part of who we are as people and, in turn, what we should be about as organizations of people.

The article also included a sidebar by Barbara Kiviat titled "A Brief History of Creative Capitalism." I could not find this anywhere online to link to, but it does a great job of tracing the roots. She spans from 1799 with Robert Owen and his cotton mill that sets up a fund for sick workers and does not employ children under 10, to American Express creating the term "cause-related marketing" in 1983 for its campaign to help restore the Statue of Liberty.

Continue reading "Creative Capitalism and Bill Gates"

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September 17, 2007

Round Up with JC Penney

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Cause Marketing

Last Thursday I found myself at the mall shopping for clothes for my daughter who seems to outgrow clothes between trying them on and getting home. We were buying a new coat at JC Penney and the clerk asked if I'd like to round up my purchase to the nearest dollar and donate the extra amount to the the JC Penney Afterschool Fund. Turns out it's the Afterschool Round Up program JC Penney has been offering during the back to school shopping season and it ended on Saturday.

Tired and distracted from an evening shopping with a toddler, I mumbled something incoherent which the salesclerk took for a yes, and before I knew it I had donated a whole penny to a cause marketing campaign. I love the idea because it's so simple and easy, but I'm not a fan of their execution for two reasons.

Continue reading "Round Up with JC Penney"

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September 11, 2007

Young People Care About Causes

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Cause Marketing

This year's class of college students cares more about social causes than any group in the last five years, according to the Alloy Marketing and Media's College Explorer Survey. 37% prefer brands and companies that are "socially conscious," up 4% from previous years.

Students specifically ranked fair labor practices, environmental policy and philanthropy as the most important components of being socially conscious. In 2006 a different study of the general population found that 76% of people put a company's employee welfare ahead of all other considerations, underlining the importance of fair labor practices.

"There's a lot of research from Alloy, and other sources, showing that particularly among young people the notion of corporate social responsibility is a loyalty driver," said Samantha Skey, Alloy's executive vice president of strategic marketing.

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September 5, 2007

Big Mac and the Environment

Posted by Shawn Stewart | Filed under: Cause Marketing

Just saw this story come across the wire:

"Half-price Big Mac to fight global warming proves big hit in Japan."

It appears that cause marketing's really working in Japan when it comes to environmental issues. Or maybe, Japan just really, really loves Big Macs! Either way, interesting news for those interested in cause marketing.

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August 16, 2007

Boston Market's 'Time For Your School' Works

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Cause Marketing

The 'Time For Your School' program from fast food chain Boston Market has given $275,000 to local schools this year. It's a good example of cause marketing on two fronts.

1) Employee Involvement:
"As much as (Boston Market) makes money from the community, we have to give back to the community," says Cassandra Edwards, manager of the New City, N.Y. restaurant and leader of fund-raising efforts for the New York City area.

2) The company and the cause fit well together:
"It feels like a very good fit because Boston Market was basically founded on the idea of home-cooked meals," says Paul Kurnit, clinical professor of marketing at Pace University in Manhattan. (link via Selfish Giving)

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August 10, 2007

Sunkist Takes a Stand

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Cause Marketing

This summer thousands of kids across the country took part in the great American tradition of opening lemonade stands--and giving to the charity of their choice. It's part of the Take a Stand campaign from Sunkist. Kids ages 7-12 who want to give back can request a free lemonade stand from Sunkist and donate a portion of their earnings to the charity of their choice.

Take a Stand started in 2004 and Sunkist has sent out more than 23,500 lemonade stands and estimates that kids have donated more than $1.5 million.

This year Sunkist took it up a notch by partnering with Hy-Vee grocery stores to put lemonade stands in front of more than 200 stores to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

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August 8, 2007

Cause Marketing Partnerships That Make Sense

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Cause Marketing

Selfish Giving points us to a cause marketer's dilemma: Should the urban volunteer organization City Year partner with Pepsi? Some argue that an organization helping inner city youth shouldn't align itself with a product partly responsible for obesity in said youth.

This is the line cause marketers must tread--the altruism of the cause shouldn't be in conflict with the product that's supporting the cause. And that's not always easy. That's why Product Red received criticism--expensive T-shirts can seem like a tacky way to fight AIDS in the poorest regions of the world. The difficulty of cause marketing is finding a campaign that avoids the criticism (in this case it works when Product Red emphasizes that people are buying this stuff anyway, so now it helps someone who wasn't helped before).

Continue reading "Cause Marketing Partnerships That Make Sense"

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July 25, 2007

Cause Marketing That's More Than Wallpaper

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Cause Marketing

Recently we covered the results from a Cone Inc. survey about corporate good. In a nutshell, people like companies that do good (and we argued that it's about being good, not just doing good).

Now Business Week is suggesting that most cause marketing is wallpaper. Ouch. But they have a point. Few people can connect which corporations support which causes. The writer, David Kiley, is arguing that what the Cone survey really shows it that all people want is a vague understanding that companies are helping causes--and that sets the cause marketing bar awfully low.

Continue reading "Cause Marketing That's More Than Wallpaper"

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July 17, 2007

Good is the New Black: Being vs. Doing

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Cause Marketing

At least according to Carol Cone of Cone Inc., who says doing good is always in fashion:

No matter what cause a company stands behind, Ms. Cone maintains it's one thing that will never go out of style with consumers. "Good is the new black today," she said.

And while we had less than encouraging numbers about cause marketing earlier this month, it's clear that causes are still important:

So if good is in, why is cause marketing slipping?

Continue reading "Good is the New Black: Being vs. Doing"

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July 11, 2007

Corporate Philanthropy is Good for Business

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Cause Marketing

"Simply put, a corporation can increase its bottom line by increasing its philanthropic involvement," says Chris Rosica, author of The Cause Marketing Handbook, in an article about the economics of corporate giving.

It's what we've been saying: Doing well by doing good. (link via Selfish Giving)

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July 9, 2007

Top 10 Ways to Fail at Cause Marketing

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Cause Marketing

Last week we blogged about cause marketing numbers falling. It seems as more and more companies are trying cause marketing, customers are getting burned out. The problem is cause marketing has to be done right--authentically.

So we present our top 10 ways to fail at cause marketing, a list we sent out to our monthly Cause Marketing Minute e-mail newsletter--subscribe now.

1) Do it because everybody else is.
If every other company jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you? Just like any marketing approach, you have to do what works for your organization, not simply what everybody else is doing.

2) Pick a cause with no connection to your company.
There needs to be a clear connection between your company and the cause you're supporting. A bookstore supporting literacy, a home improvement store supporting low income housing, a health food product supporting fitness. (Some exceptions exist like Product Red. The very nature of its hip and energetic persona attracts a ton of star power so that the connection between clothing, cell phones, iPods and shoes and HIV/AIDs, malaria and tuberculosis can work together in concert.)

3) Forget to tell the story of your cause.
The best part of cause marketing is that it does something good. If you're not telling the story of the good your customers are enabling, then you're failing. This could come in blog entries, press releases, photos, videos, whatever. But you need to tell that story and clearly connect how purchasing your widgets equals a life saved across the world (see #2) then get that story out there. Our Personality Storyguide™ is just the thing!

4) Be fake.
Your company needs to have an authentic concern for your cause and be on the path to genuine corporate responsibility. Otherwise it's fake--and your customers can tell. If you don't have passion for what you're supporting, don't do it. Imagine if the evening news covered your cause marketing effort and you had to fake your way through an on-camera interview--you'll crash and burn.

5) Be somebody you're not.
Not only can being fake (see #4) get in the way, being somebody you're not can be just as ridiculous. Being someone you're not is like switching personalities altogether, but you still have the same DNA. KFC tried this back when they tried to re-brand themselves as "Kitchen Fresh Chicken" to appeal to more health-savvy consumers. It blew up in their face and they went back to being who they were--good 'ol fried chicken. The second step in our Storyguide process, the Personality Profile™, can help get this straight.

Continue reading "Top 10 Ways to Fail at Cause Marketing"

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July 5, 2007

Solution to Cause Marketing Burnout? Be Authentic

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Cause Marketing

From Bono to American Idol everybody wants to support a cause. That recent surge in cause marketing means it's getting harder to stand out from the crowd. It also means customers are getting tired and overwhelmed.

A recent study by industry pioneer Carol Cone of Cone Inc. as reported in Business Week found that cause marketing numbers are dropping:

So is cause marketing on the way out? Not hardly. But as with any marketing, you can't do it half-heartedly and expect great results. We've always said that the only way to do cause marketing is authentically--not because it's the in thing. And it just so happens that authenticity is one of the cornerstones of our Personality Storyguide™ process. (link via Selfish Giving via Marketing for Good)

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June 22, 2007

Toast Raises Money for Charity

Posted by Shawn Stewart | Filed under: Cause Marketing

toast.gifThat's right toast--otherwise known as slightly scorched bread--is raising money for charity. Your Name On Toast, a side project thought up and developed by Atto, a little 3-person design studio in Ireland, has raised over $8,000 for a charity that is yet to be selected.

Here's how it works, you submit a donation of $80 or more (the current rate) and the folks at Your Name On Toast will create a piece of toast with your name--or company name or whatever you want--literally on a piece of toast. Your toast links to a url you give and the higher your donation, the higher the placement of your toast on the site. The higher your toast is on the page, the greater likelihood of it generating traffic to your site. It's reminiscent of the Million Dollar Homepage, but for charity and with a sliding placement and pricing scale. That and the toast.

They're still deciding who to give the money to, but you can help decide by voting.

Sounds like a nice built-in incentive to donate--it rewards you for a higher contribution and a well deserving charity makes a decent little chunk of change from it.

It's a really cool little viral cause marketing effort from some new friends on the Emerald Isle.

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June 20, 2007

Adobe Youth Voices

Posted by Shawn Stewart | Filed under: Cause Marketing

Adobe Youth VoicesAdobe is giving young people in underserved communities the tools and platform to voice their opinions, contribute to solving the world's problems and find their purpose.

Adobe is partnering with five youth media organizations from around the world to provide millions in funding, creative software and volunteer support for training young people in underserved communities in the disciplines of print, web design and video. Their goal is to help these students become digitally literate and inspire them to jump in, not give up and let their voices make a difference.

Continue reading "Adobe Youth Voices"

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June 12, 2007

10 Rules for Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted by Shawn Stewart | Filed under: Cause Marketing

Here's a good little article if you were wondering what corporate responsibility is--or if you already know--how you could better do it.

The article was written by Leon Gettler a senior business journalist in Australia who writes about a wide range of management issues, including, corporate governance, ethics and all things Sarbanes-Oxley.

He boils effective corporate responsibility down to 10 rules. The first five cover what corporate responsibility actually is. The last five are how to do it well.

The last five rules have cause marketing written all over them, but will only really work when you pay attention to the first five.

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June 1, 2007

On The Move

Posted by Shawn Stewart | Filed under: Cause Marketing

2007_06_01onthemove.jpgAround here, we really like Bono. We're all members of the One Campaign, which exists to end what Bono calls, "brutal, stupid poverty". Some of us have been to Africa and seen with our own eyes what's happening there. So any chance we get to promote greater awareness about the issues that face the African continent, and what we can do to help, we do.

If you've never heard or read the speech that Bono delivered on this topic to the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., last year you should take a sec and watch.

If you haven’t heard about On The Move, which is the book capturing this speech on paper, let us introduce you. It's a cause marketing effort. When you buy the book you support the retailers carrying the book, the One Campaign and the wonderful African people they are fighting for. If you want to see the book online before you pick one up, the One campaign has placed a digital sample online.

Or you could just buy it now by clicking on the cover.

Let's help make poverty history.

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May 25, 2007

Make-A-Wish Foundation's 150,000th Wish

Posted by Shawn Stewart | Filed under: Cause Marketing

Make-A-Wish Foundation and Lay's Potato ChipsWho hasn't heard of the Make-A-Wish Foundation? And for that matter who doesn’t love the Make-A-Wish Foundation?

Since 1980 they've been in the business of bringing hope and delight to kids battling life-threatening illnesses by becoming their genie in a bottle. I've been what you could call a passive fan of the organization since I was 12 years old. That's when they arranged for a boy my age to meet who I thought was the coolest person in the world--Hulk Hogan. If they were helping kids and knew Hulk Hogan, I was sold... Make-A-Wish was cool!

Well, I’m all grown up and I no longer think that Hulk Hogan is the coolest person in the world. But I’m still a fan of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. So we wanted to let you in on some exciting cause marketing news that our friends at Cone, Inc. told us about.

Continue reading "Make-A-Wish Foundation's 150,000th Wish"

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May 10, 2007

Spider-Man, Keynote Speaker on Corporate Responsibility

Posted by Shawn Stewart | Filed under: Cause Marketing

Spider-ManSpider-Man gets it--do you? If you woke up tomorrow with the ability to crawl up walls, swing through city streets and stop bad guys without breaking a sweat, would you choose to be a hero? That's why we love Spidey. He's our friendly neighborhood super hero.

Spider-Man has great power and with it a great opportunity to do what few can--make a significant difference. That opportunity would never be realized without Peter Parker's commitment to responsibility. In the words of Peter's late great Uncle Ben, "With great power, comes great responsibility."

Your business is a lot like Spider-Man. You have great power and because of that, great responsibility--your public perceives it that way and as the ol' saying goes, perception is reality. Let's face it, responsibility can be heavy at times, but it doesn't have to be all "because we have to's." It can be your business' greatest opportunity to do a lot of good and reap the rewards of a hero--from profit to praise.

Cause marketing is a great way for your corporate responsibility to swing into action. If you'd like to be a hero, do some good and get applauded for it. Drop us a line, we'd love to be your first fan and help you take a step closer to being known as, "Your friendly neighborhood [fill in the blank].

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May 7, 2007

World Red Cross/Red Crescent Day 2007

Posted by Shawn Stewart | Filed under: Cause Marketing

May 8 is a day to say thanks to an organization that has helped and continues to help countless people all around the world. We're all familiar with them and their involvement in jumping to the rescue.

Many times those that jump to help others go unnoticed--so to everyone who has ever given to the Red Cross so that they could help, or to all those who work with the Red Cross or Red Crescent around the world--we just want to say thanks!

When people help people, we're the most like our true selves. And it's beautiful!

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May 3, 2007

Baskin-Robbin's 31-Cent Ice Cream Scoops for Charity

Posted by Brian Zopf | Filed under: Cause Marketing

Earlier this week ice cream scoops at your neighborhood Baskin-Robbins were just 31 cents per scoop! That's right, a 2.5 oz scoop for such a creamy steal! So what's the catch? Cause marketing.

The revenues raised from scoops sold on May 2nd (a reported $100,000) will go to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation--a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization created by Congress in 1992 to honor America’s fallen fire heroes, assist their families and co-workers, and support research to prevent further in-the-line-of-duty deaths. Headquartered in Emmitsburg, Md., the Foundation receives funding through private donations from caring individuals, organizations, other foundations and corporations--like Baskin-Robbins!

Continue reading "Baskin-Robbin's 31-Cent Ice Cream Scoops for Charity"

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April 30, 2007

4 Hours Volunteering = 1 Free Concert

Posted by Shawn Stewart | Filed under: Cause Marketing

Boost Mobile RockCorpsRiding the bus from the train station to my office (yes, there is public transit in Los Angeles--and yes, some people actually use it) I spotted a poster that caught my eye. The poster read, "4 Hours 1 Ticket, Boost Mobile RockCorps." When I got into the office I went to the web site and was excited by what I found.

Boost Mobile has put together a literal movement through a cause marketing initiative, that organizes hundreds and soon to be thousands of largely young adults (which by the way, is their business's target market) in order to partner with local non-profits that are serving in their communities. In exchange for signing up and serving for four hours, each person gets one ticket to a major concert with huge headline performers. You can't get into this concert unless you've been one of the volunteers on the street sweating and getting dirty.

Obviously the humanitarian implications for this thing are huge and really exciting. But perhaps the less obvious point is how brilliant this is from a business standpoint. Boost Mobile's customers are media-hungry, music-loving young adults who are hungry to do something more with their lives, to experience more than what they get over their mobile phones. Thus a brilliant cause marketing initiative is born.

This isn't just a cause marketing campaign, this is a brand strategy which infuses cause marketing. It's a look at the future, and it's coming to a neighborhood near you.

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April 26, 2007

American Idol Gives Back

Posted by Shawn Stewart | Filed under: Cause Marketing

2007_04_26idol_gives.jpgJust in case you live under a rock or don't like pop culture and missed it, American Idol reportedly raised $30 million dollars over two nights (last night and Tuesday night) for a mix of non-profits here in the states and in Africa.

My wife and I haven't really watched this season of American Idol, but we tuned in last night to watch and was really excited and moved by what I saw. Granted there are a lot of opinions dancing out there--everything from slams to praises.

Continue reading "American Idol Gives Back"

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April 12, 2007

Google Earth Fights Genocide

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Cause Marketing

While it's not technically cause marketing, Google's partnership with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to bring light to the crisis in Darfur is great example of a business and non-profit working together so everybody wins.

Google's satellite imagery software Google Earth is offering an educational feature to show the destruction of villages and displacement of millions in the Darfur region of Sudan.

It's hard to call it cause marketing because no one is selling a product (Google Earth is free), but the idea is still the same. Google gets good publicity and respect in the eyes of the public. The U.S. Holocaust Museum gets plenty of awareness to their cause of fighting genocide and the halo effect of working with a respectable business.

Everybody wins.

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March 16, 2007

Why the (Red) Backlash is Off Color

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Cause Marketing

Newsweek covers the (Product) Red backlash in Rage Over (Red), but they still don't get it:

Newsweek asks, "And when did shopping become the best way to help poor children in Africa?"

Whoever said shopping was the best way to help poor children in Africa? It's not. It's a way to help, in addition to multiple other efforts, from volunteering to donating to spreading the word.

Continue reading "Why the (Red) Backlash is Off Color"

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Dr. Seuss & the Cat in the Hat Help Kids Read

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Cause Marketing

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. SeussThe book The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss celebrates its 50th anniversary this month. Dr. Seuss published the book in 1957 in response to a challenge that children's books were too boring and kids weren't learning how to read. So he wrote a book using only 236 different words--simple enough to help kids learn to read, but enough fun to keep them hooked.

In celebration of 50 years Random House and Dr. Seuss Enterprises are teaming up with First Book, a non-profit that gives children in low-income families a chance to read and own their first book:

Update: Random House has upped its pledge. They'll now donate one book for every birthday card received up to two million books.

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March 13, 2007

Social vs. Cause Marketing & $75 Off a Seminar

Posted by Brian Zopf | Filed under: Cause Marketing

Social marketing is defined as: "The use of proven marketing principles to influence social behavior." Instead of selling products or services you're 'selling' ideas and attitudes in hopes of changing the way people think and live. It's more than just marketing for non-profits. An anti-childhood obesity campaign--paid for by the state or an activist group--would be an example of social marketing. The goal is to change behavior, and 'measurables' would be drawn accordingly. There may be a hotline people can call for help, seminars requested at local community centers or a web site monitoring hits. The campaign would obviously require funding to run, but the focus is entirely on the betterment of society through education and the shifting of attitudes.

Continue reading "Social vs. Cause Marketing & $75 Off a Seminar"

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March 6, 2007

Get Married and Do Good

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Cause Marketing

In a cause marketing world weddings are about more than two people's love for each other. Weddings are also about two people's love for the rest of the world. The I Do Foundation gives brides and grooms the option of turning components of their wedding into charitable donations:

The I Do Foundation has an audacious and inspired goal to change the way weddings are done:

It is our vision that, in time, charitable giving will become an integral part of the culture of weddings and other life events. By incorporating a charitable focus into life celebrations, we help families establish a pattern of giving that will last a lifetime.

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March 5, 2007

Quit Picking on (Red)

Posted by Brad Abare | Filed under: Cause Marketing

It's too easy to pick on (Product) Red for being a marketing gimmick attempting to help a good cause. From Buy (Less) Crap to a recent article by AdAge's Mya Frazier, it's obvious the critics have been waiting to pounce on this one. Not so fast.

I realize that one of the jobs (at least it used to be I think) of the media is to hold society accountable, but I hate it when the media starts an attack with a weak argument. I understand that over $100 million has gone into launching Red, including product development, ads, creative, media buys, etc. And I realize that just $18 million has actually gone to fight the cause that Red is about.

But there is a question the critics are not answering. Would the $18 million given back to the cause have happened without the Red model? I don't think so. Furthermore, what has been the impact in terms of awareness brought to the world of cause marketing, and how many other causes will benefit from Red's mainstream lead in the marketplace?

The other problem with the argument against Red, especially from the Buy (Less) Crap world, is that the next generation of consumers are not giving money unless reciprocity is at play. With increasing personal debt loads and a craving for more crud, consumerism is not going away any time soon. I'm all for fighting consumerism, but let's at least let causes win and trick our selfishness into doing good.

If you're giving money directly to help causes, keep it up. If you're not, please keep buying products and services that do!

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Buy (Less) Crap

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Cause Marketing

Not everybody likes Bono's (Product) Red campaign where a portion of the proceeds from Apple iPods, Motorola Razrs, Gap T-shirts and more go to the Global Fund to fight AIDS. Buy (Less) Crap is counter-campaign encouraging people to buy less and give more with the slogan, "Shopping is not a solution." Instead they encourage people to donate directly to charities.

"When donations are based on percentages of profit and the accounting methods are not transparent, you can spend $100 on a (RED) product with the notion that you're helping to save lives in Africa--but there is no assurance that any of that $100 will actually reach the cause. Not one (RED) cent," says Ben Davis, founder of Words Pictures Ideas, one of the organizations behind Buy (Less) Crap.

Their criticism of cause marketing showcases an important factor: transparency. Saying you're helping people isn't enough. You need to actually help people and you need to be transparent about how it happens. It's a good lesson for cause marketers.

And while Buy (Less) Crap does have a good message, they forget the concept that cause marketing is about helping everybody win. It's not simply buying something for the sake of buying something. It's helping a charity while still buying the chicken noodle soup you need. Not everybody needs an iPod, but if you're going to buy one anyway, why not help charity while you're at it? That's the goal and the hope of cause marketing.

(link via Selfish Giving)

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February 26, 2007

GQ for Generosity

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Cause Marketing

The 50-year-old men's magazine GQ that stands for the epitome of style is about to add generosity to their long-standing tradition of style. The magazine launched the Gentlemen's Fund to celebrate their 50th anniversary. The charitable project will raise money for five different organizations in five different areas (opportunity, health, education, environment and justice).

“It’s cool using the name for more than looking good,” said spokesman and singer John Legend, who agreed to represent the fund for free. “If you want to be a GQ man, you should give.” In addition to donations, the fund will also be raising money through eBay auctions and partner products like a Nautica deck shirt. (link via Selfish Giving)

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February 23, 2007

Donors Don't Trust You

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Cause Marketing

The president of Charity Navigator, an organization that evaluates charities, offers a stat that should be scary news for non-profits: 20% of the donations made through Network for Good (a Charity Navigator partner) were made anonymously. These donors chose to give money to a specific charity and then asked to be kept anonymous. The organizations receiving the donation had no idea who gave the money and had no way to respond or thank them.

So why would someone choose to donate this way?

The most likely reason is that these donors have no interest in being contacted by the charity they're donating to. They like the cause, but not the non-profit. They're received one too many pieces of junk mail. And they're cutting you off. Charities have dropped the ball by not courting donors and donors are getting sick of it. The next logical step? No more donations, anonymous or otherwise.

So what's a non-profit to do?

Continue reading "Donors Don't Trust You"

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February 9, 2007

Facebook Gifts & Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Cause Marketing

Facebook gifts that benefit Susan G. Komen for the CureCauses are benefiting from social networking. First there's the MySpace Impact Awards and now Facebook has teamed up with Susan G. Komen for the Cure (formerly the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation) to offer Valentine's Day gifts.

The "gifts" are Valentine's Day themed icons (designed by Susan Kare, who designed the original Mac icons) you can give to another Facebook user to be displayed on their profile (if they so choose). The first gift is free but then gifts are $1 each with at least $0.50 per dollar going to fight breast cancer for the month of February.

Continue reading "Facebook Gifts & Susan G. Komen for the Cure"

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February 6, 2007

Cause Marketing vs. Government Mandate

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Cause Marketing

We've talked before about the benefits of compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) and Wal-Mart jumping on the CFL bandwagon, but now it seems the state of California may be joining the club:

The "How Many Legislators Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb Act" would ban incandescent lightbulbs by 2012 in favor of energy-saving compact fluorescent lightbulbs.

Who needs to legislate morality when we can legislate efficiency? It's good to see the government backing more efficient lightbulbs that can save energy and money and be better all the way around, but I wish it weren't a mandatory thing. That's part of the joy of cause marketing. It piggybacks with what people are already doing and works with them, providing incentive rather than punishment.

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February 3, 2007

How Non-Profits Can Cut Clutter and Connect with Audiences

Posted by Kevin D. Hendricks | Filed under: Cause Marketing

The Carnival of Non-Profit Consultants offers a collection of helpful links for causes and the most recent is Nancy Schwartz's collection of entries about How Nonprofit Communicators Can Cut Through the Clutter to Engage Overloaded Audiences. Loads of useful content, but here's the best of the best: