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Showing posts from July, 2008

The Killer App for Informal Learners? Time Will Tell.

Somewhere out there is the killer app for informal learners…the software or Internet application that allows informal learners to pick and choose from thousands or perhaps millions of things we’d like to learn.

After beating the bushes everywhere else, could it be that that killer app is right here in my hometown? Time will tell.

To learn more read my post called An Innovation for Informal Learners on my other blog called The Learner’s Guild.

Review of Jocelyn Daw's Book Cause Marketing for Nonprofits

Blogger’s Note: On the right side of the site you’ll see an Amazon ad for books about marketing, cause-related marketing, an informal learning and education that I’ve read and can recommend. One of those books is Jocelyn Daw’s book Cause Marketing for Nonprofits, from John Wiley & Sons. I reviewed the book for the We Review section of, where you can also read this review. And special thanks to Steve Nill, CharityChannel’s founder, for his patience.

I’ve been reading cause-related marketing books for almost 10 years now and can trace the arc of their development.

They started out being highfalutin, even ethereal. Brand Spirit by Saatchi & Saatchi veterans Hamish Pringle and Marjorie Thomson which came out in 1999 and 2001’s The Cathedral Within by Bill Shore imbued cause-related marketing with an almost mystical power to save companies, causes and individuals.

Shore, who founded the hunger charity Share Our Strength, compared the meaning businesspeople could fin…

Cause-Related Marketing Advisory Boards

Most charities that do a meaningful amount of cause-related marketing probably need an advisory board or group whose job is only to help the organization make contacts and expand its CRM footprint.

At first blush you might think that all you need is Rolodex warriors willing to battle on your behalf. In fact, once corporate types reach a certain threshold they probably have a Rolodex that any competent cause marketer could effectively mine, to mix the metaphor.

Instead, in homage to Guy Kawasaki, whose excellent book The Art of the Start I’m reading right now, I suggest that are actually five types of people you want on your cause-related marketing advisory board (CRMAB).

Industry Heavy Hitters. If your cause-related marketing takes place in different settings, you need a representative number of people from each of those principal industries on your CRMAB. Captain Rolodex. This guy/gal has more than just a list of buddies from his/her rise in rank and power. This person could get the pre…

Informal Learning and the Eternal Memory Redux

What's it like to use the software aids like SuperMemo from Piotr Wozniak that promise to help you remember things forever?

How much time does it take?
Can you really recall important things at 90 percent?Does it leave any side-effects? Or holes? In my other blog for informal learners called The Learner's Guild, I put these questions to Chris Khoo, 26, a software progammer in Brisbane who uses SuperMemo.
Chris had left a comment saying, in effect, that isn't always better to remember than forget? Good point, Chris.
Read the interview here.

Stop Leaving Cause-Related Marketing Money on the Table

Today I got a call from an entrepreneur who had tried to do a deal with a prominent children’s charity that does a notable amount of cause-related marketing. He loved the cause… still does… but after two years time spent on the project it didn’t pan out, mainly because the minimums and the upfront fees the charity required to participate were two high for the entrepreneur’s budget.

I understand why cause-related marketing charities have participation minimums or up-front fees. It’s a management issue. How do you manage a bunch of $10,000 (more or less) cause marketing campaigns? To a lesser degree it’s about keeping the cause's image in the main channels of the branding river.

But I’ve taken a lot of calls like this over the last 15 years, as a consultant and as a nonprofit executive and staffer, and it’s been frustrating almost every time.

I think it’s time for the big cause-related marketing charities to rethink their policies on participation minimums. And the thought-model I prop…

Power to The People: An Informal Learner's Toolkit

“My alma mater was books, a good library - I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity.” Malcolm X said that.

And for most of his short 40 years, a good library was the best possible and maybe only option for a curious informal learner. Not anymore.

To see what’s in my informal learner’s toolkit check the post my other blog, The Learner’s Guild.

Old School Cause-Related Marketing for the Web 2.0 Era

I don’t remember the last time I saw a cause-related marketing campaign for which the donation was predicated on consumers redeeming a coupon.

But right now for every $1 off coupon you redeem for Bausch & Lomb’s ReNu multipurpose contact lens solution, they’ll give a $1 donation to Susan G. Komen For the Cure. The donation is capped at $400,000 and $300,000 is guaranteed.

Back in the day, here in the United States, a plurality of cause-related marketing campaigns for packaged goods were based on coupon redemption. Now I’d say they’re the exception.

But here’s the Web 2.0 twist. The coupon isn’t in this ad from the May 2008 Cookie Magazine, a parenting magazine for mothers. Instead the ad directs you to the campaign website

To print the coupon you’re required to enter your name and email address. If you've already bought ReNu you can enter a code from the bottle to make the $1 donation. The website also has three short videos of people affected by breast cancer (two …

Paul Jones of the Cause-Related Marketing Blog in the LA Times

Comments I made to the Los Angeles Times small business reporter Cyndia Zwahlen about cause-related marketing and small business were published in yesterday's paper.

My experience with the LA Times online edition is that articles don't stay around for very long, so I'm going to excerpt a part of it below.
For as long as it's up, you can read it here.
Finally, tip of the hat to Jennifer Staplelton at Bread for the World, a member of the cause-releated marketing GoogleGroup.

How can you make sure that your good intentions lead to good results?"They have to do the same thing they do with their cash flow; they have to manage it," said Paul Jones, a cause-related marketing consultant and principal at Alden
Keene & Associates in Sandy, Utah. He also writes a blog on the subject.As with any business strategy, skimping on planning or the tactical steps probably will result in disappointment for the small business and the charity.To avoid that, here are tips from Jones…

Interview on Small Business Cause-Related Marketing with LA Times Reporter

Got an email on Tuesday, July 8 from Cyndia Zwahlen a contributing columnist to the Small Business Report at the Los Angeles Times (that's their building on the left) who asked about "about small business and the mistakes they make when it comes to cause-related marketing, in particular developing and sustaining a relationship with a charity."

Here's how I responded:

I'd say that small businesses make 4 basic mistakes when it comes to cause-related marketing:
They pick a charity that's a poor strategic fit. There's a lot of potential reasons for why a small business might undertake a cause-related marketing campaign for a cause. Maybe their customers are school-age kids so they pick a local school. A restaurant might choose a hunger cause. But if you're a local welding shop, you better have a pretty good reason to support the Susan G. Komen
Breast Cancer Research Foundations; a reason your customers will easily and
quickly understand. That's because r…

Brain Gain

There is an exercise neuroscientists recommend to increase the number of nerve cells, neurotransmitters (illustrated on the left) and blood vessels, and reverse cognitive and neural decline.

It's as close as your front door and you should probably do it in the company of other people.

For more on this wonder-exercise check today's post on my blog on informal learning called The Learner's Guild.

Follow Up on US Airways Cause-Related Marketing Campaign for RIF

A note from Paul Jones of the Cause-Related Marketing Blog. One of the things I don't do often enough is update past postings.

With this, I bring up-to-date two postings from April 1 and April 3 of 2008 about US Airways' cause-related marketing campaign for Reading Is Fundamental called "Fly With Us. Read With Kids." What follows is from RIF's post-campaign email that arrived in my email today.

Thank you for participating in the Read with Kids Challenge, a partnership between RIF and US Airways.

More than 16,500 adults logged 3.8 million minutes read to children, far surpassing our goal of 1 million minutes!

The RIF network is full of dedicated supporters and we are delighted that you’ve joined our work!

Did you know that RIF is the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit children’s literacy organization?

With 3,500 programs, RIF motivates young children to read by working with children, their parents, and community members to make reading a fun and beneficial part of …

Cell Phone Fundraising in Action

Keep a Child Alive Featuring Alicia Keys

On May 20 I wrote about how for the first time in the United States it was possible for nonprofits to use cell phones to raise money, $5 at a time.

For the last three months the Brooklyn, New York-based nonprofit charity called Keep a Child Alive, has been using cell phone fundraising to generate nearly $40,000 from some 7,800 people.

Keep a Child Alive provides antiretroviral drugs to children and adults with HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Antiretroviral drugs are what keep people with HIV/AIDS like Magic Johnson from dying. In Africa there are 2.3 million children with HIV/AIDS, and many times that many adults (read ‘parents’).

Keep a Child Alive cell phone fundraising approach is to use a film produced for the charity called Alicia in Africa, featuring the impossibly lovely and talented R and B artist Alicia Keys, who is the organization’s official ambassador.

In effect, they ask you to pay $5 for the pleasure of watching the film by texting “Alive” to 90999…

Accessing the Minds of Other Informal Learners and Teachers

“A great library contains the diary of the human race,” said George Mercer Dawson.


But what of all the people who have walked the earth but never left their own 'diary' (or learner’s journals)? Imagine what you could learn from them.

Up until now the challenge has been how to crack open the human library (if I can coin a term) of the people all around you.

Now a Seattle firm may have figured out a way to unite informal learners and teachers.

It’s informal learning, because it’s not organized under the auspices of a university or really any kind of school and there's no credentials offered when you're done. The firm is startup for-profit business with venture funding.

To learn more about accessing the minds of informal learners read my posting on my blog on informal learning called The Learner’s Guild.

A Honey of a Cause-Related Marketing Campaign

Try as I might I can’t imagine the focus group that suggested Haagen-Dazs’ fun and creative campaign cause-related marketing to save the American honey bee.

You’ve probably seen it. The super-premium ice cream maker is doing an old-fashioned cause-related marketing campaign to save the stressed and overstretched honey bee in America. Over the last several years 25 percent of Western honey bee population has disappeared, which is being attributed to the poorly-understood threat called Colony Collapse Disorder.

But let's put a little meat on that bone: 1/3 of our food supply relies on honey bee pollination.

When you buy any of the 11 varieties of Haagen-Dazs ice cream whose ingredients require honey bee pollination, the company makes a donation to apian research at University of California at Davis and Penn State University. Haagen-Dazs is also selling a limited-edition flavor called Vanilla Honey Bee.

The campaign features promotional packaging, a website rich with content that explain…