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Cause-Related Marketing Potpourri

My email box has been filling up with releases from PR types about various campaigns. A handful are even about cause-related marketing!

Here then is a grab bag of worthy social marketing campaigns that don’t warrant their own posts, but are nonetheless worth mentioning.

Nov 19 was Luzianne Coffee’s “Non-Bitter Monday.” The event included trash pickups in five cities in Louisiana, and a $50,000 donation to be split among six charities: Make-A-Wish, Toys for Tots, Teach for America, Gulf Restoration Network, Habitat for Humanity, and America’s Wetland. The exact split is to be determined by votes collected at endbitterness.com. Voting ends March 31, 2008.

Reprise Media, a search engine marketing and optimization outfit out of New York City, and a division of Interpublic, has launched a pro bono initiative for nonprofits. Their first client is the Center for Global Development, a nonprofit think tank. Other nonprofits are invited to apply for Reprise’s SEM, SMM and SEO services at their website.

Microplace.com, a wholly-owned subsidiary of eBay launched in late October, offers people a way to loan money to the working poor in the developing world using the proven principles of microfinance, while receiving a return on their investment. Investments as small as $100 are accepted.

Origins Organics, which sells a line of organically-sourced skin care, hair care and bed and bath products in stores, is offering a branded reusable canvas bag. Quoting from the release: “100% of the profits from the purchase of this bag will be donated to OFRF (Organic Farming Research Foundation).”

Greatnonprofits.org follows the lead of Epinions, Zagats and Amazon and allows users to review their experiences with nonprofits. As of today featured nonprofits are overwhelmingly in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Some random thoughts:
  • Greatnotprofits.org may scare the hell out of a lot of nonprofits, hospitals for instance. I don’t know if greatnonprofits.org will be the final expression of user-generated content when it comes to nonprofits. But I do know that more than ever charities need to do a better job of managing all their stakeholder ‘touchpoints.’
  • The 100 percent of profits language in the Origins Organics offer is weak. And it’s hard to believe that the Organic Farming Research Foundation holds much built-in affinity for consumers.
  • It will be interesting to track how Microplace does. There are plenty of places to make donations in support of microfinance in the developing world. Will the addition of the profit motive expand the base of participants or contract it?
  • As for Luzianne, I dislike these mechanisms whereby there’s competition between charities. I don’t think it reflects well on Reily Foods, Luzianne’s owner, and I doubt it moves product as well as a more straightforward cause-related marketing campaign.

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