Cause Marketing Sponsors Wanted to Help Save Millions of Lives

World Vision, the very able humanitarian organization, has an ambitious goal to End Malaria by 2015 and they’re at the mammoth Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show in Salt Lake City to drum up corporate support among outdoor retailers and brands.

I spoke with Angela Appleton, director of cause marketing at World Vision, and the cause is just. In the developing world malaria kills 2,000 kids a day or approximately 750,000 children a year (!), with Africa bearing the brunt of the scourge disease. World Vision's End Malaria website says that translates to $12 billion in lost economic productivity every year and serves to perpetuate poverty in the developing world.

World Vision wants to put an insecticide-treated mosquito net over every bed in the 62 malaria-endemic countries where World Vision has operations. Insecticides based on DDT eradicated malaria in the United States 60 years ago. But DDT is not an option now.

Insecticide-treated mosquito nets aren’t perfect, but they are about 60 percent effective in preventing malaria, according to the website. At $10 per net, they’re not terribly expensive, but combined we’re talking about billions of dollars in total expense, so Appleton and World Vision have their work cut out for them.

(Text ‘bednet’ to 20222 and you can make that $10 donation yourself.)

I asked Appleton, what kind of cause marketing World Vision was willing to entertain and the simple answer was almost anything.

“We’re really wanting to raise awareness here at the show and invite retailers to ask customers at the checkout if customers are wanting to donate $10. We’d like to engage with corporate retailers and manufacturers if they want to brand the product and donate a percentage of sales or for every tent you buy ‘we’re going to donate 10 bed nets’… whatever works for the company.”

World Vision is changing the website into more of a blog format to highlight the work of campaign sponsors. They can provide materials for point of purchase donations, banner ads, collateral, logos, and links, to sponsors and partners.

I have nothing but respect for World Vision and helping prevent the deaths of nearly three-quarters of a million children every year is about as worthy and humane a goal as I can imagine. Please consider this opportunity to help.

Finally, my apologies to Angela Appleton, and to you as well. I promised on my Twitter feed that I would post my video interview with Angela today in lieu of my post. But I had unexpected technical difficulties with the video. Mea culpa.

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