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Showing posts from February, 2007

Paper Icon Campaigns

Done Right, They're A License to Print Donations

Here in North America it’s common to use ‘paper icons’ as a major part of your cause-related marketing, particularly in campaigns with retailers.

And why not? When I left Children's Miracle Network in 1998 they were generating more than $25 million a year from their paper icon campaign.

(I’ve long disliked the expression ‘paper icon,’ so someone please suggest a better name.)

What are paper icons? They’re slips of paper emblematic of a cause typically placed next to a cash register and sold as impulse items.

They’re relatively cheap to produce, even in small print runs. In large runs they might be less than a penny a piece.

In North America the typical sales price is $1, although larger dollar amounts have been tried. After the icon is purchased, it’s common to write the name of the purchaser on the icon. During the promotional period the icons are displayed in the window, along a wall, strung above the cash registers, etc

Some best pr…

Starfish Television Network II

So What’s the Catch?

Last Wednesday I posted on the Starfish Television Network, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity and a television network devoted to airing TV programming that supports the missions of other nonprofits.

I also used the word ‘free.’ As in, “Starfish will air your broadcast-quality nonprofit television programming for free.”

Nothing worthwhile is free, I hear the skeptics say.

The skeptics are half right.

First of all, the Starfish Television Network certainly has expenses. For the time being, those expenses are being covered by a generous philanthropist. So, while airing the programming has a cost, for now the cost is covered.

However, in time that money will be spent. And Starfish will have to have in place new sources of revenue or it will fail. The Starfish Television Network’s funding model is patterned after that of PBS. Which is to say there will be fundraising, corporate sponsorships, underwriting, perhaps memberships, and the like.

In time there may be a fee assoc…

Munchkin Inc. Project Pink for Susan G. Komen

Mother Love a Duck!

What motivates us to merge the interests of causes and companies?

Oftentimes the choice is intensely personal. 505 Southwestern, the chile sauce maker, supports Susan G. Komen in memory of the founders’ mother, Stella.

Munchkin Inc… which makes innovative products for parents, children and pets… supports Susan G. Komen for similar reasons. Serena Gillespie, the wife of the company’s vice president of marketing, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 at tender age of 31. She had two children under age four at the time.

The privately-held company rallied around Serena and her husband Doug Gillespie. But they went a step further and developed a cause-related marketing campaign with two goals. One goal was to raise money for the cause. But the larger goal was to encourage young mothers to get screened for breast cancer.

Dubbed Project Pink, the campaign made use of pink bath ducks which were available in stores and online for $2.99. They chose ducks for their double-meani…

Join Cause-Related Marketing, Get a Cool Tool You Can Use Now

Kind Readers:

Wendy from Detroit, Michigan is the latest person to join the Cause-Related Marketing Googlegroup.

You can join, too.

When you do, each new posting to Cause-Related Marketing comes directly to your email box.

As an inducement, everyone that joins receives a copy of the "Five Flavors of Cause-Related Marketing," which explains Cause-Related Marketing in an easy-to-follow matrix and includes examples.

It's a great brainstorming tool and helps ensure that your campaign has all the bells and whistles appropriate for that flavor of Cause-Related Marketing.

To join, simply send your name, your email address, city and country to aldenkeeneatgmail.com.

The city and country thing is important because it helps me know for whom I'm writing.

Your privacy is important to me, so be assured that I will never sell your name or contact information to any third party.

Warm regards,
Paul Jones

The ABCs of Effective Charity Auctions on eBay

Maximizing Charity Auctions on eBay

More than 40 celebrities signed 'Matt,' the paper mannequin training aid used to demonstrate Philips Electronics' automated external defibrillators at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

Philips donated $500 to the American Heart Association for each celebrity who signed Matt, up to maximum of $20,000. When the Festival concluded, Matt was packed off to Auction Cause, an auction management agency in Beverly Hills, Calif. led by Eric Gazin.

Eric is an eBay PowerSeller and has specialized in celebrity and charity auction items for more than eight years.

I asked Eric if he would share some secrets from his experience, and there are some surprises. One, for instance, involves Britney Spears' recently shorn locks!

Read on.


How much did the Save Matt auction generate?

"The auction generated $300, but more importantly, it received a lot of publicity for the American Heart Association."

How does your service work?

"Auctions are dece…

The Business Benefits of Cause Marketing

The Above Headline was Written with Google in Mind!

On Thursday someone searched the Cause-Related Marketing blog using these terms: "business+benefits+cause+marketing."
I instantly slammed my hand to my forehead Homer Simpson-style and said, "d'oh!"
After 40-something posts I've somehow neglected this basic topic.
So without further ado, here are six business benefits to cause marketing: Cause-related marketing can directly enhance sponsor sales and brand.
Cause-related marketing is respected and accepted business practice.
Cause-rleated marketing can heighten customer loyalty.
Cause-related marketing can boost a company's public image and helps distinguish it from the competition. I would add that it can also give corporate PR officers a new story to tell.
Cause-related marketing can help build employee morale and loyalty.
Cause-related marketing can improve employee productivity, skills and teamwork. It's also my opinion that the exchange that takes place…

Starfish Network Television Needs Your NPO Programming

If you really want your cause-related marketing to break from the pack, you better have a strong media component. The big boys of sponsorship in the U.S. like the NFL and NASCAR know that. That’s why they’re on TV.

“Fair enough,” you say, “but I don’t exactly have a network clamoring to put my nonprofit's content on television.”

Well now you do. The Starfish Television Network, which launches in March 2007, has 24 hours a day to fill and they’re anxious to help your broadcast-quality programming find a broader audience.

Best of all, it’s free.

The Starfish Network is itself a 501(c)(3) whose mission is give voice to the many nonprofits whose capacity to do more and do better would be enhanced if more people knew about them and their mission.

What kind of programming are they looking for? Almost everything’s appreciated, but long-form programs are in high demand. What might that include? Everything I can think of; appeals, documentaries, award shows, galas, sponsored events, athletic ev…

‘Little Miss USA’ Doll Ad for American Red Cross

Like Pepsi with Milk, There’s Something Wrong Here

Some things don’t pair well. Like Pepsi with milk, or peanut butter and bacon sandwiches.

Likewise this ad for a collectable doll doesn't quite work.

The doll, called Little Miss USA, was issued by the Alexander Doll Company in the wake of September 11 in support of the American Red Cross.

Plenty of cause-related marketing appeals popped up after 9/11. This one was in the February 2002 issue of Doll Reader.

While you might associate dolls with a children’s cause, the problem isn’t the combination of patriotic doll and the Red Cross, per se. As we’ve discussed before, while ‘strategic philanthropy’ is frequently the best approach, for various reasons it may not be the preferred approach. Moreover, limited edition dolls of this type are more likely to be purchased for adult than child collectors.

The problem isn’t the offer, it’s the ad itself.

For one, the ‘portion of the proceeds’ language is weak and vague. Research shows that consumers…

Answer These Questions Before You Start Cause-Related Marketing

Twenty Questions (Give or Take)

Suppose when you get into the office tomorrow, the boss comes in and says, “I think we need to look seriously at cause-related marketing. Look into it will you?”

Getting the right answers depends on asking the right questions. So where would you start?

Let’s just stipulate that you’ll search the Internet. Maybe check the entries at Wikipedia.com or About.com. You’ll almost certainly come across the Cause Marketing Forum, run by my friend David Hessekiel. If you go a little deeper you may find Cone, or other agencies that specialize in the practice. You may find IEG, which has a long history with cause-related marketing, but considers it to be a subset of sponsorship. Maybe you’ll go to Amazon.com and check the available titles. You’ll almost certainly find Business in the Community in England, which takes a very holistic approach to cause marketing.

Scratch the surface a little more and you’ll certainly find criticisms of the practice; usually variations on…

Join Cause-Related Marketing and Get a Cool Tool you can Use Now

Kind Readers:

Marisol from Pasadena, California is the latest person to join the Cause-Related Marketing Googlegroup.

You can join, too.

When you do, each new posting to Cause-Related Marketing comes directly to your email box.

As an inducement, everyone that joins receives a copy of the "Five Flavors of Cause-Related Marketing," which explains Cause-Related Marketing in an easy-to-follow matrix and includes examples.

It's a great brainstorming tool and helps ensure that your campaign has all the bells and whistles appropriate for that flavor of Cause-Related Marketing.

To join, simply send me your name, your email address, city and country to aldenkeene@gmail.com.

The city and country thing is important because it helps me know for whom I'm writing.

Your privacy is important to me, so be assured that I will never sell your name or contact information to any third party.

Warm regards,
Paul Jones

HeartTruth and the Red Dress Campaign

Government and Cause-Related Marketing

My Feb. 6 posting was about the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign. This posting will be about the AHA’s stable mate in the Red Dress campaign, the National Heart and Lung Institute of the National Institutes of Health… aka HeartTruth… which falls under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Up until now, all my postings have been about cause-related marketing relationships between corporate and not-for-profit entities. Strictly speaking, the Red Dress campaign doesn’t raise money for the government or its programs, so it’s probably more appropriately called social marketing than cause marketing.

But because the campaign borrows liberally from the best practices in cause-related marketing and because some of the elements of the Red Dress campaign do raise money for nonprofit entities, I’m covering the highlights here.

In the United States heart disease kills more than 330,000 women a year, far and away the most common c…

Compensating Your Nonprofit Cause Marketers

Can’t We Just End the Hypocrisy?

If you’re a charity that does or wants to do cause-related marketing or sponsorship, how do you pay your cause marketers?

For those of you on the corporate side or in agencies, this probably sounds like an easy question. You pay them a base salary plus a percentage-based commission based on how much they raise. No different than paying your top salesperson. It rewards performance and punishes mediocrity. Great cause-marketers should make more money, right?

In fact, for nonprofits it’s fraught with worries, concerns, and ethical dilemmas.

Notice I didn’t say commission-based pay is illegal. So far as I know paying nonprofit fundraisers a commission is not illegal. But you can’t be a member of the prestigious Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) if you accept commission-based compensation. And good luck finding a grantwriter who will work on a commission basis.

Here’s why commission-based compensation is frowned upon. In the United States, some dono…

Join Cause-Related Marketing and Get a Cool Tool You Can Use Now

Kind Readers:

Dudley F. from Johannesburg, SA is the latest person to join the Cause-Related Marketing Googlegroup.

You can join, too. When you do, each new posting to Cause-Related Marketing comes directly to your email box.

As an inducement, everyone that joins receives a copy of the "Five Flavors of Cause-Related Marketing," which explains Cause-Related Marketing in an easy-to-follow matrix and includes examples.

It's a great brainstorming tool and helps ensure that your campaign has all the bells and whistles appropriate for that flavor of Cause-Related Marketing.

To join, simply send me your name, your email address, city and country to aldenkeene@gmail.com.

The city and country thing is important because it helps me know for whom I'm writing.

Your privacy is important to me, so be assured that I will never sell your name or email address to any third party.

Warm regards,

Paul Jones

Effective Cause-Related Marketing is Just Blocking and Tackling

The Devil (in the Red Dress) is in the Details

I was at Rite Aid yesterday and bought a paper red dress for $1. It’s a small part of the American Heart Association’s admirably ambitious Go Red for Women campaign going on right now during "heart month."

Heart Disease, not breast cancer, is the number one killer of women. So to take some of the steam out of the many breast cancer charities, the Heart Association is doing for February what the breast cancer charities have done for October; brand it as their own.

And so, on the air, in retail outlets of all kinds, at events, in the print and electronic media Go Red for Women is almost omnipresent in the United States.

For instance, you can buy a Go Red themed book called “Kiss & Tell” in Macys stores. Kellogg’s has specially-packaged boxes of their breakfast cereal Smart Start in stores now. The jeweler Swarovski has a Go Red pendant on sale. Rite Aid… with 3325 stores in 27 states… and Key Bank… with 950 branches in 16 states… …

Heal My Vision!

I Stand Corrected

Two recent comments about my review of the Montblanc-Nicholas Cage ads that ran in numerous financial magazines made me revisit my posting.

I feel good about what I wrote about transparency and nonprofits, but I got an important detail completely wrong. I misidentified the nonprofit in question as "Heal the Boy," which I couldn't find.

See the announcement of the Montblanc-Nicholas Cage relationship here.

In fact, Cage and Montblanc are supporting "Heal the Bay," an environmental organization that works to improve Southern California's coastal waters, especially the Santa Monica Bay.

My mistake and my apologies to all concerned.

And thanks to our alert readers for catching the error.

Using Celebrities to Enhance Your Cause-Related Marketing

Celebrities and Social Marketing, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Tuesday’s posting talked about MacGuffins, devices that impel your target market to action when you're doing cause marketing or social marketing. One MacGuffin is the use of celebrities.

In the illustration World Vision, an international Christian relief and development organization, is working with Hannah Teter, the Olympic gold medalist for the snowboarding halfpipe at the 2006 Winter Games in Torino. Teter commissioned the Mapleside Sugar House in Mt Holly, Vermont (Hannah’s home state), to create Hannah’s Gold grade A Vermont maple syrup. A portion of the proceeds goes to World Vision.

Celebrities bring public and media attention. For instance, Teter’s work for World Vision has won the 20-year-old acclaim as the ‘Sportswoman of Year’ award from the U.S. Olympic Committee. Some of that attention has devolved to World Vision. Certain celebrities can lend your campaign credibility. Some will actually donate money and e…