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Public Policy Cause-Related Marketing

On May 16 Oliver’s Artisan Breads in Los Angeles announced that it will donate 10 percent of net profits from their store line of breads to the Bread for the World Institute, the first case of a CRM campaign benefiting an advocacy and public policy charity I can think of.

Oliver’s Artisan Breads sells a line of organic bread in stores like Whole Foods and Wild Oats (which have merged) in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Oregon, southwestern Nevada and Washington state. The term of the agreement is for one year with an option to renew. Oliver’s has guaranteed an undisclosed minimum donation.

The money will go to support the Bread for the World Institute, a 501(c)(3) public charity division of Bread for the World. Bread for the World is an advocacy group, a “nationwide Christian movement that seeks justice for the world’s hungry people by the lobbying our nation’s decision-makers.” The Bread for the World Institute has more of public policy bent, engaging “in research and education on policies related to hunger and development.”

The Institute’s most notable current undertaking is their annual Hunger Report.

It’s the only cause-related marketing campaign I’ve ever come across that supports a public policy charity. By contrast, money from cause marketing campaigns at Susan G. Komen goes to breast cancer research and breast cancer education and awareness. When you clip Box Tops for Education the money goes to local schools.

It probably goes without saying that it takes a very particular kind of sponsor to engage in a cause-related marketing campaign for a public policy charity.

According to Jennifer Coulter Stapleton, the senior manager for marking and branding at Bread for the World and a member of the Cause-Related Marketing Google Group, Carol Head is that kind of sponsor.

“Carol Head, the owner of Oliver’s Artisans Breads, approached us,” says Stapleton. “She personally cares about hunger and heard our president, Rev. David Beckmann, speak several years ago. She made the connection that it would be great cause-marketing for her bread company.”

It helps that Bread for the World sounds like a charity that provides direct services to the hungry. Their website URL, Bread.org, reinforces that impression. It also helps that most customers at Whole Foods are likely to be sufficiently sophisticated to understand the nuances of a public policy charity if they choose to dive into the mission and purpose of Bread for the World Institute.

The campaign is more proof… as if we needed it… that the base of cause-related marketing has grown very wide indeed.

Finally tip of the hat to Jennifer Stapleton, a subscriber to the Cause-Related Marketing GoogleGroup and a reminder. I have a list of blog postings in the hopper. But if they’re newsworthy, cause-related marketing campaigns submitted by subscribers to the blog’s GoogleGroup automatically go to the top of that list.

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