AdWeek Intros Cause Marketing Report

Today, AdWeek debut its Cause Marketing report and I was all over it.

Described as a, “a deep dive into the rapidly evolving nonprofit world,” it features organizations who are doing an amazing job at pushing the envelope when it comes to cause marketing.

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A few highlights:

    • Staff writer Robert Klara and staff artist Yuliya Kim have created a detailed infographic looking at the millions of lives saved and improved by the Gates Foundation, which has given an astounding $36.7 billion to global charities since being founded in 2000.
    • Brands, especially tech leaders, have quickly become the most potent opponents of anti-LGBT state laws. Staff writer Christine Birkner looks at how corporations have shifted from being part of “the establishment” to being advocates for progressive policies.
    • Virtual reality can often seem impractical, but VR has quickly proven its value to nonprofits looking for new ways to create emotional connections between potential donors and charitable work being done overseas. Staff writer Marty Swant reports on the trend, alongside Adweek’s video production team, Alfred Maskeroni and John Tejada.
    • We often only see the downsides of anonymity on apps like Whisper, but staff writer Lauren Johnson reports on how nonprofits are also discovering the benefits of encouraging conversation in a place where young people can be open and honest.

Um …you know I’m in heaven, right? What do you think of AdWeek’s cause marketing report?

Buy a Lady a Drink.

to launch an eye-catching campaign to halt one of the most onerous tasks faced by women in developing nations: the hours-long daily route of hauling water, usually by foot, over long distances.

Obtaining water is a real issue – here in the US and worldwide. The statistics don’t lie: at least 760 million people lack access to safe, secure and clean water. Women and children spend about 140 million hours a day collecting water. And while mobile technology has opened more economic doors, one disturbing fact is that more people worldwide own a cell phone than own a toilet. Stella Artois’ campaign, which enlists Water.org’s founders Matt Damon and Gary White, is a step in raising awareness about this massive problem.

The campaign started with Stella Artois donating $1.2 million to the cause. The company is raising additional funds through the sales of artistic limited-edition beer glasses. Water.org says the purchase of one glass, at $12, is enough to provide one person clean drinking water for five years. As of now the 20,000 put up for sale in the U.S. have completely sold out.

Water.org already has a strong track record of providing market-based solutions to the lack of clean water worldwide. The NGO has focused on microfinance programs that lend assistance to projects such as building private toilets to gaining access to municipal water taps. As of last fall, Water.org has invested US$10.6 million in almost 450,000 loans across nine countries. Considering the fact water scarcity is one of the biggest threats to global economic and political stability, more efforts such as this Stella Artois-Water.org partnership need to be supported.

Check out one of several videos which highlight what women and children endure in securing water for their daily needs below:

 

Netflix Gives $100 Mil to Support Education

Netflix founder and chief executive Reed Hastings, a longtime supporter of charter schools, is creating a $100 million foundation for education, he announced on his Facebook page earlier in the week.

The Hastings Fund launched with grants totaling $1.5 million to the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley and UNCF scholarship funds, donations meant to help minority students access college.

According to the fund’s website, the aim is to, “partner with communities to significantly increase the number of students who have access to rich and holistic educational experiences.”  netflixlogowide

The fund’s chief executive is Neerav Kingsland, a charter-school proponent who previously led New Schools for New Orleans. The nonprofit played a key role in shaping the city’s post-Hurricane Katrina educational system, in which more than 90 percent of children attend charter schools.

Hastings joins the likes of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, tech billionaires interested in using their money to improve education. Critics have accused them of using their money to reshape education according to their own ideas, circumventing the democratic process.

Find out more about the Hastings Fund here.

L’OCCITANE: More than Almond Lotion.

One of my guilty pleasures is french beauty retailer L’OCCITANE’s Amande (almond) line. Specifically, I love their Almond Delicious Paste Body Scrub which is described as, “a delicious blend of almond butter and almond oil, infused with crushed almond shells and sugar crystals, this exfoliating butter offers perfect exfoliation for the entire body.” To me, it’s like marzipan for the skin – AH.MAZE.ING. Anyhow, more importantly, they just did something good and that trumps all.

L’OCCITANE just donated $120,000 to Dress for Success, a gift that will help up to 2,400 women begin their journey to achieving their professional goals in 2016. The company had pledged to donate $10 for every gift set purchased during the 2015 holiday season (up to $120,000) to Dress for Success to help prepare women for job interviews.

Additionally, the company has been a long-time advocate for the economic independence of women supporting women’s leadership programs in West Africa for over 20 years. In 2015, the brand’s North American headquarters partnered with Dress for Success to empower women on a local level and deepen the brand’s commitment to female empowerment on a global scale.

Since 1997, Dress for Success has helped more than 850,000 women throughout the world achieve their professional goals through career-advancing services. From suiting to mock interviews to employment retention and money management programs, the nonprofit helps provide women with the tools they need to secure a job and become a successful employee.

Check out this clip which highlights the L’OCCITANE partnership with Dress for Success in Canada.

#GivingTuesday: Here to Stay.

In 2012, I wrote my first post on #GivingTuesday. Then, it seemed like a great idea, although it was a tad gimmicky. Fast forward to today where the likes of Rue La La (my addiction) are sending emails regarding their involvement in the national day of giving.

Background: In 2012, the 92nd Street Y in New York City, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation and influencers from the worlds of nonprofits, foundations and business, asked a simple question: Could a day devoted to giving back compete effectively with the likes of Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Four years later, the answer is a resounding “yes.”

Giving Tuesday is the perfect embodiment of Americans’ willingness to come together in the spirit of generosity. According to the Giving Tuesday website, since its initiation, there have been more than 30,000 partners across 68 countries participating in the day and a nearly 500 percent increase in online charitable donations on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

In 2013 #GivingTuesday continued to gain momentum, with 10,000 partners in the US and 46 countries around the world. According to data from Blackbaud, the volume of online donations has increased 270% since the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in 2011 (before #GivingTuesday began). Rue

For non-profit organizations, #GivingTuesday should pivot off of the ways in which retailers, such as Rue , promote themselves in preparation for the biggest shopping day of the year. They should:

  • Create a sense of urgency.  A 24-hour window can nudge supporters to make a contribution.
  • Scarcity drives action. If a challenge grant or matching gift has been pledged and is good only through a set deadline, donors will be much more compelled to make donations within that time-frame.‎
  • “Mobilize” your giving.‎ If your giving page is not mobile friendly, even the most well-intentioned prospective donors will lose their enthusiasm if they can’t act immediately.
  • Take a long hard look at your organization’s giving page and make sure that it mirrors the look and feel of your organization’s brand. According to Network for Good, charities that have a resonant brand presence on their giving pages raise an average 138-percent more on Giving Tuesday than those using generic donation pages.

And don’t forget the power of a great story. An organization’s unique story is a must as this separates it from all of the others who are participating.

To support that, this year Giving Tuesday is launching #MyGivingStory, spearheaded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. While six non-profit organizations will receive grants of up to $5,000, #MyGivingStory is more a vehicle for engaging donors on the most personal of levels, encouraging them to share their reasons for becoming involved with and supporting those causes nearest to their hearts. Between now and November 24th, individuals can visit #MyGivingStory on Facebook and submit a story of a time they made a gift to a nonprofit organization they gave to and why. Fifteen organizations that receive the most “Likes” will be reviewed by a panel of judges, who will select the final six winning non-profits.

Conference Bliss: Social Good Summit 2015 – My Top Vid Picks

The Social Good Summit, a two-day conference examining the impact of technology and new media on social good initiatives around the world, was held on Sunday and yesterday. Described as, “a dynamic community of global leaders and grassroots activists to discuss solutions for the greatest challenges of our time,” I learned so much in such a short amount of time and was deeply inspired. The theme, #2030NOW, challenges us all to consider, “What type of world do I want to live in by the year 2030?” The consideration at the core of each chat was how technology can be used to make the world a better place. Here are some of my favorite i-views from the convening:

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Social Media ResponderInside Out

What’s Up With September 26th?

It’s a damn shame that in a few days we will hit October 1st. Time is flying! For now, it seems like people, namely celebrities and some cause marketing fashionistas, are holding on to what remains of the year by way of 9.26.15.

First up: Beyoncé, Coldplay, Pearl Jam will headline the 2015 Global Citizen Festival in NY. Coldplay Front-man, Chris Martin, serves as creative director for the event and is fresh from his visit to India with The Global Poverty Project, where he played a surprise gig last week. The festival will take place on New York’s Great Lawn in Central Park tomorrow. There will also be an one-hour special from the concert set to air on Sunday, September 27 on NBC and September 28 on BBC One in the UK. Other media partners include MSNBC, live-streaming host YouTube (sponsored by T-Mobile), iHeartRadio (an audio live-stream will be broadcast on iHeartRadio.com) and Tidal, which will also stream the audio of the concert on Tidal.com as well as via the Tidal app. Free tickets were available for those who went to globalcitizenfestival.com, and pledged to take an “Action Journey” — which included making phone calls, volunteering, donating clothing at H&M or participating in another effort to encourage the U.S. State Department to dedicate 50% of its foreign aid budget to the world’s poorest countries.

The tickets are all “sold out” 😦

But you can catch the live-stream below 🙂

On a smaller scale (which is just as important), clothier Eileen Fisher will see to it that 10% of proceeds from 9.26.15 go to various local charities which support women and girls.

Eileen Fisher annually awards Activating Leadership Grants of $5,000 or more to grass-roots organizations which share its goals of activating leadership. To date, the company has awarded nearly $2 million to 56 organizations via the grant program since its inception in 2010. Brick and mortar stores also hosts special events twice a year where a percentage of proceeds are donated to a local nonprofit organization chosen by local employees. Those interested in becoming a recipient in that program simply contact the store directly. Learn more about the organizations that will be supported by clicking below.

September is ending rather nicely.

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