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How Strong is the Appeal of Your Cause?

It’s gut-check time my charity friends. How strong is the appeal of your cause?
  1. Could you call a major donor to secure the funding to take advantage of a great advertising opportunity that falls into your lap last minute?
  2. Could you rally your fans to support your entry in the American Express Members Project?
  3. Is your fundraising still doing fine, even in the Great Recession?
  4. Could you get competitors to sponsor your event?
I saw the double-truck ad to the left in the July issue of Spirit magazine, the in-flight magazine of Southwest Airlines. For 11 years Southwest has sponsored the Phoenix Luv Classic, a benefit golf tourney for the Ronald McDonald Houses.

This year the tournament raised more than $300,000, the ad reports.

But for me the news isn’t the dollar amount, which is respectable given the economy. Instead the story is the list of sponsors.

That list includes direct competitors with Southwest, including Virgin Atlantic, and JetBlue, and indirect competitors Aer Lingus, AeroMexico, Air Pacific, Cathay Pacific, Korean Air, Luftansa, Philippine Airlines and South African Airways.

Note also that competing beermakers Bud Light, MillerCoors and Heineken are also sponsors.

I can imagine how this happened. Maybe Southwest’s tournament committee is just super-well connected. Maybe they twisted arms or shamed their competitors. Maybe the commitment of the various competitors was actually pretty low. Maybe after 11 years the Phoenix Luv Classic just has a ton of momentum behind it.

No matter, it couldn’t have happened if the Ronald McDonald Houses weren’t so well known or respected.


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