Skip to main content

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 president of the United States (or the president of Exxon/Mobil!) on the phone if you needed that. These people are rare and special. And a surprising number of them seemed to have worked in politics at some point in their career. You’ll recognize them by the fact that they don’t just have a thick Rolodex, they nurture it.
  • The Scout. Whether a Boy Scout or a Girl Scout, this person has an unflagging sense of morality; of right and wrong. And he or she won’t be cowed by strong personalities or barter away his/her integrity.
  • The Artist. This is the person whose creativity in putting together deals or making connections is so imaginative your lawyer shudders every time you call after a CRMAB meeting.
  • The Super Geek. Not necessarily technical, the SuperGeek seems to stay on top of every trend, read everything, and seen every iteration of marketing since Eric the Red first started talking up Greenland back in 982 AD. The SuperGeek tends to have a heavy speaking/teaching schedule.
As Kawasaki puts it, boards are both “blessings and burdens.” So make sure you can stand the bloviations of The SuperGeek, the angst produced by The Artist, and the egos of everyone else.

Kawasaki also advises that you take away their Blackberries before your meetings.

Good luck with that.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Three Ways to Be Charitable

I’ve spent a big chunk of my career working with or for charities. Many of my dearest and ablest friends are in the charity ‘space.’ And the creativity and problem-solving coming out of the nonprofit sector has never been greater.  Although I’ve had numerous nonprofit clients over the last decade or so, I haven’t worked in a charity for about 12 years now, which gives me a certain distance. Distance lends perspective and consequently, I get a lot of people asking me which charities I recommend for donations of money or time. My usual answer is, “it depends.” “On what?” they respond. “On what you want from your charitable activities,” I reply. It sounds like a weaselly consultant kind of an answer, but bear with me for a moment. The English word charity comes from the Latin word caritas and means “from the heart,” implying a voluntary act. Caritas is the same root word for cherish. The Jews come at charity from a different direction. The Hebrew word that is usually rendered as charity is t…

Unconventional Metrics of Cause Marketing Power

The printed edition of Fortune Magazine runs a regular feature called ‘My Metric’ wherein business leaders identify informal but telling measures of current economic activity.

In the January 17, 2011 Michael Glimcher, CEO of Glimcher Realty Trust cited as his metric an increased number of black cars on the streets of New York City as a sign of the U.S. economy’s (still pending?) resurgence.

That got me thinking, what unconventional metrics evidence the power of certain cause marketing efforts?

One immediately leapt to mind, although only General Mills, which makes Yoplait yogurt in the U.S., can measure it.

The Yoplait lid at left... which I purchased in December 2010... can NOT be redeemed for a $0.10 donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Instead it promotes Yoplait’s sponsorship of Komen’s Race for the Cure events, which are numerous.

But I’d bet you a six-pack of Yoplait Greek Honey Vanilla that people nonetheless still send in some number of the lids above in an attempt to redeem th…

Profile of Cause Marketing Veteran Joe Lake

Blogger's Note: What follows is a profile and interview I wrote of Children's Miracle Network co-founder Joe Lake, who was recently installed as the CEO of the Starfish Television Network. This originally appeared in the Salt Lake Enterprise on Monday, May 11.

Lining the walls of the office of Joe Lake, the new CEO of the Starfish Television Network, a 501(c) (3) public charity and television network founded in 2006 and headquartered in Midvale, are pictures of the many celebrities he has worked with.

There are pictures of Joe with Goldie Hawn, Sidney Poitier, Jeff Bridges, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Rob Lowe and Walter Cronkite, and affectionately-autographed publicity stills from Bob Hope and Rich Little.

It’s something you’d expect in the office of a Hollywood agent, or at a celebrity hangout in Manhattan, or Chicago or Vegas. But the Starfish Television Network, whose mission is to tell the stories of nation’s nonprofits in a way that educates, entertains and inspires its audi…