Skip to main content

Happy Thanksgiving, Cause Marketers

Dear Faithful Readers:

Thanksgiving, that most American of holidays, is today. When I say it’s the most American of holidays I mean no offense to my Canadian readers, who celebrate Thanksgiving the second Monday in October. So maybe I should call the most North American of holidays.

Some Thanksgiving I’m going to write a post on the things Canadians and American have to be thankful for besides the world’s longest undefended border, a language, an appreciation for smoked meat sandwiches in Montreal, and a great holiday, even if it’s celebrated in separate months.

But I have two pumpkin pies to prepare along with an apple caramel pie and my famous pecan pie. So here from 2007 is my favorite Thanksgiving post.

Warm regards,
Paul

Today is Thanksgiving in the States, a day when we watch parades and American football before eating an enormous feast of turkey, ‘stuffing,’ and mashed potatoes, then chase it down with pumpkin pie.

We Americans grew up with a cherished myth that the first thanksgiving was celebrated when the Native Americans invited the Pilgrims over for potluck around harvest time.

Every year historians, journalists and other skeptics chip away at the thanksgiving myth. The latest involves a Spanish explorer named Pedro Menendez de Aviles who dined on bean soup with Native Americans in Florida some 56 years before the more famous meal at Plymouth Rock.

In time no doubt we’ll learn that Leif Ericson in fact broke bread with Native Americans in Labrador around 1000 AD and that the Basques shared their catch of salted cod with the Natives of New England well before Columbian Exchange.

Nonetheless, Americans are pretty much undaunted by these revelations. Here’s why: the holiday as we now celebrate it is just so beautiful. Families and friends gather. An enormous meal is prepared. We talk about what it is that we have to be grateful for at the dinner table. We feast. We loosen our belts and take a nap. Then we go home with leftovers in plastic margarine containers.

For my part, I’m grateful to you my readers. Thanks for putting up with my rants. Thanks for disregarding my too frequent errors of spelling, grammar and logic. Thanks for leaving comments. Thanks for suggesting topics. Thanks for practicing cause marketing wherever you are.

And, happy birthday Katie.

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…