Skip to main content

Cause Marketing for the Hirsute

Cancer is a hairy beast that needs to be capped. And to help, Boston ad agency Small Army has put together a fun campaign that has potential lessons for nonprofit fundraisers.

Called ‘Be Bold, Be Bald!’ here’s how it works. Order a $20 fundraising kit online ($25 after October 1, 2011) and Small Army will send you a bald cap and, a t-shirt to wear on Be Bold, Be Bald! Day October 21, 2011, along with a wealth of fundraising resources. Money raised goes to your choice of more than 20 cancer fighting organizations.

Small Army wants you to seek out sponsors, like in one of those race events that nonprofits are so good at producing. But there’s no training involved so the only the only sweating will take place under the bald cap on October 21.

(Not being hirsute myself I'm quite sure that wearing a bald cap all day for me would indeed be a sweaty affair!)

Small Army has promoted the event widely and well. The ad above was in Time magazine. They’ve also put together a very complete fundraising approach that doesn’t miss many tricks. Sign up, pay your fee, and you’ll get:
  • The kit with the t-shirt and bald cap
  • A customized fundraising page
  • Facebook messaging, including formatted templates
  • Twitter messaging
  • Banner ads for your website
  • Sample emails
  • A ‘Cheat Sheet for Spreading the Word,’ forms, and other downloadable items
Basically Small Army has created a inexpensive version of the race and peer-to-peer fundraising SAS offerings from Convio, Blackbaud, and others.

Small Army’s motivation stems from sad personal experience. One of the agency’s founders and the former creative director, Mike Connell, died of cancer in 2007.

So complete is Small Army’s approach that I wish they’d consider offering it for a nominal fee to small charities as a ‘white label’ event fundraising service. The big charities can afford really full-featured (some say bloated) offerings from Blackbaud and Convio. But those services can be out-of-reach for smaller charities.

Now obviously Small Army isn’t going to sell Be Bold, Be Bald! But it would be a great service to the small nonprofit sector if they sold the back office portion of the campaign.

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…

Five Steps To Nurture a 30-Year Cause Marketing Relationship

Last Monday, July 22, 2013, March of Dimes released the annual results of its campaign with Kmart... now in its thirtieth year... and thereby begged the question, what does it takes to have a multi-decade cause marketing relationship between a cause and a sponsor?

In the most recent year, Kmart,the discount retailer, donated $7.4 million to the March of Dimes, bringing the 30-year total to nearly $114 million. March of Dimes works to improve the health of mothers and babies.

Too many cause marketing relationships, in my estimation, resemble speed-dating more than long-term marriage. There can be good reasons for short-term cause marketing relationships. But most causes and sponsors benefit more from long-term marriages than short-term hookups, the main benefit being continuity. Cause marketing trades on the trust that people, usually consumers, put in the cause and the sponsor. The longer the relationship lasts the more trust is evidenced.

There's also a sponsor finding cost that…

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…