Skip to main content

Advisory Boards For Cause Marketers

Charities that do a meaningful amount of cause marketing probably need an advisory board or group whose sole job is to help the organization expand its cause marketing footprint.

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

Instead, in homage to Guy Kawasaki and his fine book The Art of the Start, I suggest that are actually five types of people you want on your cause marketing advisory board (CMAB).
  • Industry Heavy Hitters. If your cause marketing takes place in different settings, you need a representative number of people from each of those principal industries on your CMAB.
  • 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 could talk him or her into it. 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 actively nurture their contact list.
  • 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 CMAB 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 Columbus started looking for sponsors. The SuperGeek tends to self-identify because he or she has 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 iPhones before your meetings.

Good luck with that.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Alden Keene Cause Marketing Stock Index Dramatically Outperforms Other Indices

There are stock indexes galore; the Dow, S&P 500, the NASDAQ Composite, the Wilshire 5000, the FTSE, and hundreds more. But how would an index of the stocks of companies that do a meaningful amount of cause marketing perform compared to those well-known indexes? Pretty well, as it turns out.

I first floated the idea of a stock index that would track companies that do cause marketing back in 2009. I tried to figure out Yahoo Pipes so that I could put the feed right into this blog. But alas sometimes the geek gene does fall pretty far from the tree.

So I talked to programmers to see if I could find someone who could do the same, but it was always more than I was willing to pay.

Finally, last week I hired a MBA student to do it all in a spreadsheet, and what do you know but that over the last 15 years a basket of 25 cause marketing stocks dramatically outperforms the Dow, the S&P 500, the NASDAQ Composite, and the Wilshire 5000.

The index, which I call the Alden Keene Cause Market…

Top Eight Cause-Related Marketing Campaigns of 2007

Yeah, You Read it Right. It's a Top 8 List.

More cause-related marketing campaigns are unveiled every day across the world than I review in a year at the cause-related marketing blog. And, frankly, I don’t see very many campaigns from outside North America. So I won’t pretend that my annual list of the top cause-related marketing campaigns is exhaustive.

But, like any other self-respecting blogger, I won’t let my superficial purview stop me from drawing my own tortured conclusions!

So… cue the drumroll (and the dismissive snickers)… without further ado, here is my list of the eight best cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007.

My list of the worst cause-related marketing campaigns of 2007 follows on Thursday.


Chilis and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
I was delighted by the scope of Chilis’ campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As you walked in you saw the servers adorned in black co-branded shirts. Other elements included message points on the Chilis beverage coas…

Cell Phone Fundraising

There you are walking down Lake Shore Drive past the rising Chicago Spire building eating a Chicago Red Hot, when you’re struck by a billboard with a message from, say, MercyCorps, asking for help providing relief to the cyclone-battered people in Myanmar’s Irrawaddy delta. But the sign doesn’t feature a website URL, a toll-free telephone number or even an address to send a check. Instead the sign tells you to text the word ‘Give’ to a number using your cell phone and a $5 donation will be made.

To the Japanese or Europeans that scenario probably sounds not so much futuristic as so 2006.

But it’s new in the United States, made possible by lower fees from the cell phone carriers. If analysts are correct, cell phone fundraising may be a prominent future fundraising channel for charities with a clear mission, strong brand recognition and the ability to effectively get their message to their audience.

What’s the potential upside of this mobile phone fundraising in the United States?

“$100 mil…