Skip to main content

Why People Can't Remember Your Cause

Grey Matter Research just released the findings of a survey that asked a representative segment of the public what charities they could name. Bad news is, unless your cause is in the first percent of the first percent of the first percent, your charity wasn’t one of them. But of the small number that were, most were active cause marketers.

The top finisher was the Red Cross with 20 percent of respondents naming it. Number two with 11 percent was the Salvation Army. No other nonprofit garnered even five percent in unaided recall, but eight got between 2 and 4 percent of the ‘vote:’ United Way, Goodwill Industries, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Habitat for Humanity, ASPCA, American Cancer Society, YMCA, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

“Scores of individual organizations were named by just one or two people out of over a thousand in the study,” says the press release.

But what about your donors, they know about you, right? “People who have actually given to a non-profit organization (other than a local place of worship) in the past year and those who have not are not widely different in their brand awareness,” says the release. “Donors are more likely to be able to name a non-profit (93% to 72%), but like non-donors they are most aware of a small number of major brands.”

The top ten are all big organizations with tons of active outreach. The smallest of them in terms of revenue, the ASPCA, raised $188 million in 2011. Several, including the ASPCA, the Red Cross and YMCA, are more than 125 years old! Komen, at just 31, is the junior member of the group.

Many of these organizations are woven into the fabric of American life; at Christmastime the Salvation Army kettle is ubiquitous. Komen owns October. The United Way is in every televised NFL game.

With the possible exception of the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, each of them could be characterized with just one or two words: Habitat = “housing;” Komen = “breast cancer;” ASPCA = “animal protection,” etc.

In other words, your charity wasn’t named because it’s too new, too small, can’t claim hold of a word or two in people’s minds, and because you don’t spend enough time in front of enough people.

Cause marketing can help on some of these fronts. But if you want your cause to be top of mind and you're not already on the top ten, you've got your work cut out for you.

Start by figuring out what one or two words you can own in people's minds.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Cause-Related Marketing Meets Microfinance

Kiva.org and Advanta.com Mix it Up

You’d have had to have been in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia the last year or so to have missed the run up of microfinance. Between 2004 and 2006 more than $4 billion of capital flowed into microfinance institutions. All told experts say the total loan microfinance loan portfolio may be as much as $12.5 billion. And of course the father of microfinance, Muhammad Yunus won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Microfinance is now so respectable, so effective, (so profitable!) that it’s already enjoying its first global backlash.

Actually that first sentence is hyperbole. Because even in Ulaanbaatar… far from almost anywhere on the vast, frigid steppes of Mongolia… microfinance is thriving such that the earliest recipients of micro loans there are now complaining about taxes and government bureaucracy! And May 29-31, 2008 the Conference of Microfinance Institutions will convene in Ulaanbaatar, the eleventh such annual conference.
Now Advanta, a credit card issuer to small…

Cause Marketing Beer with BOGO, Brew One Give One

On Monday’s post I touched on the topic of telling people what your cause marketing campaign accomplished when completed. I’ve recommended this approach to clients as a way to keep open the lines of communication with customers and clients and to get extra value from the campaign.

In other words, you’ll want to hold back some of the promotion’s budget to continue to activate the effort until the very end.

But what if that really cuts across the grain in your organization? What if it’s just not in your corporate DNA to do anything but to frontload your cause marketing activation? Well, then, add the report back to the activation of your next cause marketing effort.

New Belgium Brewing of Ft. Collins, Colorado, said to be the seventh largest brewery in the United States, did just that with this ad in Sunset magazine. I found this ad in the Alden Keene Cause Marketing Database.

New Belgium donates $1 for every barrel it brews and sells. It’s a BOGO cause marketing effort, Buy One Give One. …