Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2007

Cause-Related Marketing to Your List

I was in California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) the other day and spied this handcard as the waiter presented me with the bill.

The offer is straightforward. Have a party at CPK and they’ll kick back 20 percent of the total sales to your charity. CPK will even help you maximize attendance at the event by putting together a promotional flyer for your use.

It goes without saying that CPK didn’t invent this fundraising approach. You can find this same kind of promotion from many other restaurants, entertainment venues, and retailers.

In effect, this is one way of marketing… cause-related style… to your member list.

But what if you don’t have a CPK near you or if the restaurant doesn’t suit the people on your list?

Well then, simply approach an establishment that would be a better fit and propose that they match (or beat!) CPK’s offer. Not every business has CPK’s margins, so be prepared to negotiate the donation amount. Larger groups likely have more leverage than smaller ones.

And don’t limit your th…

'Email a Duck, Raise a Buck' by Munchkin for Susan G. Komen

Web 2.0 Cause-Related Marketing

Back in February I wrote about Project Pink a cause-related marketing campaign benefiting Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation from Munchkin, Inc.

Now they’ve added a Web 2.0 twist.

“Munchkin Inc.,” I wrote makes innovative products for parents, children and pets.” They started their support of Komen because “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.”
Before now, Munchkin’s campaign “made use of pink bath ducks which were available in stores and online for $2.99. They chose ducks for their double-meaning, a reminder no…

Pimping for Constant Contact

OK, not pimping really. More like a gentle noodge to nonprofits and the companies that love them that it’s time to start email marketing.

I was invited to a local presentation on email marketing from Constant Contact, the Waltham, Massachusetts email marketing outfit whose target market is small businesses and nonprofits.

They offer a cause-related marketing campaign called Care4Kids meant to benefit children’s causes. Constant Contact customers are invited to nominate worthy 501(c)(3) children’s charities to receive a free account along with the training to create an effective email campaign.

Non children’s charities are probably still eligible for charity discounts. If you’re outside the United States you might be able to induce Constant Contact to consider your cause. Alternately, you could suggest a similar program to email marketing vendors in your home country.

It goes without saying… I hope… that every nonprofit needs an email marketing component. Email marketing is a good deal lik…

These Are the Good Old Days

I was driving to the mall the other day and noticed a large poster for Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in the window of Payless Shoe Source, which sells pink ribbon brooches, wristbands and charms to benefit Komen.

Later when I was online checking my email I got a notice from listing a number of pink items for sale supporting The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

I got home that night and I started to pay my phone bill and out dropped the statement stuffer on the left. Qwest, my landline provider, and Sanyo will donate 10 percent of the sales price of their pink Katana II handset to Susan G. Komen when also you also activate Qwest service. A $50,000 minimum donation is guaranteed.

All in one day.

The many interconnected tendrils all feeding into Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a testament to the appeal of finding a cure for breast cancer and to the skill and hard work of the staff at Susan G. Komen, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and the others.

But as big a…

Open Source Charity Icons

Back in August I wrote about something I termed ‘open source cause-related marketing.’ In it I described how “in effect General Mills had opened up the ‘source code’ to non-competing brands” to its well-executed Boxtops for Education campaign.

With Breast Cancer Awareness Month in full flower in the United States, it’s apparent that there’s a second kind of open source cause marketing going on… ‘open-source charity icons.’

I’ve written skeptically about charities using colored ribbons; some colors of ribbon are somehow meant to represent five or more different causes. But the ne plus ultra of colored ribbons in the U.S. is the pink ribbon, which signifies breast cancer awareness.

That kind of brand awareness is enormously valuable. And yet a cursory glance at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office suggests that no one has registered pink ribbons. Oh, Susan G. Komen has trademarked the terms ‘pink ribbon regatta,’ ‘pink ribbon golf tourney,’ and ‘pink ribbon celebration.’ And the National B…

'Bake for the Cure' Benefitting Susan G Komen

Half Baked

ACH Foods, which owns food brands including Mazola cooking oils, Spice Islands spices, Fleischman’s Yeast, released on Sunday the FSI on the left in support of their campaign for Susan G. Komen called Bake for the Cure.

In the campaign, when you buy any of a dozen or so participating ACH brands and submit proof of purchase at the Bake for the Cure website, the company will donate 25 cents per sku. The campaign's minimum donation is $250,000. ACH will also donate another 10 cents every time someone posts to the website or exchanges a recipe. The maximum donation is capped at $350,000.

The agency for the campaign, Market Vision, has a multi-cultural marketing focus and to a degree Bake for the Cure targets the Hispanic market. Program materials are being distributed in Spanish and English and the website, while in English, could accept Spanish-language recipes. Komen also makes their breast cancer information available in Spanish.

It’s a nice enough campaign, but has a ‘paint…

Why Isn’t Your Cause On This List?

An open letter to my friends in the nonprofit world.

Dear Nonprofit Cause Marketer:

The September 27 Forbes listed the value of the world’s top sponsored sports events, by the amount of money they generate per day. They are:

1. Super Bowl… $336 million
2. Summer Olympics…$176 million
3. Fifa World Cup…$103 million
4. NCAA Men’s Final Four…$90 million
5. Winter Olympics…$82 million
6. Rose Bowl…$72 million
7. MLB World Series…$61 million
8. Kentucky Derby…$59 million
9. NBA Finals…$58 million

I notice that your nonprofit isn’t on the list. Indeed, no nonprofit is. There’s two reasons for that. Forbes compiled a list of the top sports event sponsorships. I’ll get to the second reason in a second.

But cause-related marketing is… in the main… just a form of sponsorship. Why isn’t your cause making a $103 million per day like the World Cup?

Think of all the advantages you enjoy.
You have tremendous heart. You have a list of supporters who literally open their wallets for you several times a year. Some a…

Cause Marketing Outside Its Credo?

Earlier this year Outside Magazine offered a challenging cause marketing promotion that I only just came across. For the April ‘Green Issue,’ when you bought the magazine at newsstands, Outside made a $1 donation to the Conservation Alliance up to $50,000.

According to a press release issued in January, the issue would:

“… explore and deliver the concept of ‘green’ in a proactive, relevant, bold and humorous package. The unparalleled edit lineup in this philanthropic issue… focuses on solutions rather than documenting the world’s environmental ills. Outside… introduces readers to new, sustainable products and technology including wave powered electricity, a zero emission SUV, sustainable clothing and green gear, the future of solar power, and how to navigate the emerging carbon market.”

Outside… now in its thirtieth year… has won more than its fair share of peer awards. At its best the writing fairly throws off sparks from its pages and the editing is consistently keen; as good and usual…

Make Friends with a Copy Editor

On this blog my job is to highlight and dissect the best and worst cause marketing campaigns and creative. Today the campaign in question edges closer to the latter than the former.

This campaign by Dial/Henkel… whose tagline is “A Brand Like a Friend”… is cute enough, but what the FSI needs is a friendly copy editor.

In July, soap-maker The Dial Corporation ran this FSI, which features Dial’s corporate parent Henkel, a German conglomerate. The campaign asked people to submit a 200-word essay to Dial/Henkel to help with a neighborhood cleanup.

The winner was Lorrie G. of Gainesville, Texas who wrote:

"In June Gainesville, TX made national news. Our community was devastated with a horrific flood. We are still cleaning it up. We had 2 children and one adult die because of the flood. We have a small zoo. There were no animals killed, but it did flood the landscape, especially the children’s educational center. Most was lost. Most of the city’s parks were right by the creeks that flooded…