Buy Any Alden Keene Merchandise and $1.50 Goes to the Children's Organ Transplant Association

About five years ago I was tasked with finding a national children’s charity that was well-managed, well-regarded, and necessary. It had to meet a number of stringent standards of effectiveness in achieving its mission and demonstrate efficient stewardship of its resources. It also had to have a good name and ‘heart.’ That is, even given all those data-driven measures, it also had to be a charity with genuine emotional appeal.

I found all that and more in the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) in Bloomington, Indiana. I flew to Indiana for a meeting and to my delight discovered an organization led and staffed by pleasant, honorable people. It was a little like going to the Grand Canyon for the splendid views and finding a Michelin 3-star restaurant there.

As a consultant I’ve never done work for COTA. But when anyone asks me to recommend a top-notch children’s charity, I tell them about COTA with the fervor of an evangelist. It really is a terrific charity.

Now I’m pleased to do a little cause-related marketing for COTA.

When you buy any Alden Keene merchandise item at, Alden Keene will donate $1.50 to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association. There is no upper limit on the donation and the campaign will continue until October 2009. To view the Alden Keene Printfection site, click on the Alden Keene T-shirt in the upper right hand corner.

Organ transplants are one of the great medical advancements of our age, extending life for thousands of kids and adults. But the wait-list for organ transplants is perpetually long and most hospitals in the United States won’t undertake an organ transplant until there is proof of payment in advance.

When you consider that the average price for a liver transplant… the most common organ transplant surgery… is $300,000 you can see the dilemma. Even families with good insurance have to come up with tens of thousands of dollars before their child can even be wait-listed. And that doesn’t include things like the airfare and hotel necessary when the hospital is far away. COTA’s mission is to help families raise the money necessary and to help negotiate the rocks and shoals of the organ transplantation process.

At you’ll find more than 60 items including T-shirts, sweatshirts, aprons, cutting boards, and mousepads in different colors and a wide array of sizes. All showcasing several cheeky versions of the Alden Keene & Associates logo.

I’ve ordered merchandise from the Printfection site and found it to be reliable and the turnaround time to be quite fast.

One final point, you’ll notice that the URL is Why Janus and not Alden Keene?

I’ve never explained this before in this blog, but the Alden Keene logo is modeled on Janus, the Roman God of new beginnings, although I understand that few, if any, representations of Janus as male and female survive from the days of Ancient Rome.

In Rome Janus was the god of the past and the future, of gateways and doorways, of coinage and money, and of peace. Janus is also the god not only of vigilance but of fair-mindedness, since he is able to see both sides of an issue. Janus is the namesake of the month of January (the first month of the year) and also of janitors!

I choose a Janus figure to depict Alden Keene in no small part because Janus was also the god of bridges. And cause-related marketing is a bridge between causes and companies.

The logo was designed by the very talented Hugh Butterfield at Bailey-Montague, a graphic design house in Salt Lake City. He’s a terrific designer and, as you can see, he has major chops as an illustrator, too.

All this by way of saying that I thought it would be more fun writing the descriptions of the Alden Keene merchandise in the voice of Janus than in the voice of Alden Keene.

I hope you enjoy it.

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