Monday, September 23, 2013

Read for the Record is October 3

Jumpstart's Read for the Record is October 3.

Are you signed up?

Here is info and link at USA Today Weekend.

When: On Oct. 3, the eighth annual Read for the Record, millions of Americans will read the children’s book Otis by Loren Long in support of Jumpstart’s mission to see that every child enters kindergarten prepared to succeed.

How: To participate, visit

Monday, June 10, 2013

Read a book, get a doughnut

Read a book, get a doughnut: really?!
Ok, great cause but is it correct reward?

Here’s the information from the News-Press in Fort Myers:

For the sixth year in a row, the owners of Bennett’s Fresh Roast in downtown Fort Myers are encouraging children to read while out of school for the summer.

“Education shouldn’t stop when summer begins,” said Bennett’s co-owner and former teacher Frank Albano. “Reading is the perfect summer activity because it takes kids on different adventures and opens up their imaginations.”

Now through Sept.1, Bennett’s will offer children in kindergarten through fifth grade a complimentary fresh doughnut each time they read a book at the downtown Fort Myers coffee shop. A selection of books appropriate for children are available for reading on-site.

I don’t want to knock the effort because encouraging reading is a great cause.

So, what might a “coffee shop” offer that might be more appropriate? Cup of juice? Free book? Gift card?

What do you think?

Monday, September 3, 2012

MDA & Fire Fighters: great cause but limited transparency

Around town on Labor Day, firefighters had their boots out collecting donations for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

A great cause. I donated.

Then, my wife asked a question that gives me pause:
  • I wonder who makes the decision how and who selects the charity our tax-supported firefighters support?
That led me to respond: “Since they have fire trucks here, I wonder if the firefighters are ‘on the clock’ and paid by the Fire Department or whether this was a cause marketing of the firefighters union and they were off duty.”

Neither of us knew.

So, we looked at the sticker (above) they gave us after our donation. 

No clue. It only says “I helped firefighters help MDA.”

Transparency is one key tenant of successful cause marketing.

As much as I support this effort, I’m concerned about the lack of transparency.

So, I Googled “MDA, firefighters.”

And, that led to the answer.

The firefighters helping MDA is a cause marketing program of the International Association of Fire Fighters, AFL-CIO, CLC.

So, why isn't that disclosed ... such as the IAFF logo on the back?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Where is Causeaholic?

So, my Causeaholic stats tell me my last post appeared October 21, 2011.

Less you think I'm a slacker, I need to let you know that I've continued to post Cause Marketing Readings of the Week every Monday.  You can find them at  I've not been "cross posting" them regularly.

Part of this is because I started daily posts on topics and issues pertaining to associations, nonprofits and charities.  If you are interested in these topics and/or associations or nonprofits, feel free to subscribed to SCDdaily at

So, if you want to get a quick summary (with links) of some of the top Cause Marketing items of the prior week, be sure to check out 501 connect.



Friday, October 21, 2011

Transparency & Specifics Boost Cause Marketing

The new Ford drives education campaign in conjunction with Box Tops 4 Education illustrates the value of specificity and transparency in cause marketing.

Here's what they share about their campaign:

"All Box Tops in the Ford program have to be earned by December 1, 2011. During that time, you can acquire 25 eBoxTops for watching five Ford videos on its site, and 10 for requesting a brochure. That means that you can earn up to $3.50 for your school without spending any money of your own. But to earn the maximum amount Ford has allotted, you have to buy a car, or win the sweepstakes. In addition to the Box Tops earned through promotional viewing and car purchases, Ford promises to give away 250,000 Bonus Box Tops in six prizes. The grand prize is 200,000 Box Tops; five other winners will get 10,000 each. Ford is optimistic that its participation will result in a million-dollar contribution to the Box Tops program."

As you design your cause marketing campaigns, are you and your partners building in the specifics in the spirit of transparency? Or, are you still pretty vague about what is generated for the cause?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

3 cases: Cause Marketing Should be Specific & Transparent

We often hear about the importance of transparency and specificity in cause marketing campaigns ... especially for point of sale or pinup campaigns.

I interacted with three examples this week: two via Google News Alert announcements and one while shopping last night.

The contrasts help me see the importance of specificity.

The first (Groovin' on Granola's campaign for Music Emplowers Foundation) mentions that Groovin' will donate two cents ($.02) for every purchased package to the MEF. But, there is no mention of a total commitment so we're left with the feeling from the Starbucks campaign a few years ago ... two cents? What does that mean? Why so little. Will my purchase really make a difference?

The other two campaigns, on the other hand, are very specific on the donation amounts:

Lowe's commits 10% of retail sales with a minimum of $250,000 while Cheerios commits to $1 per card up to $100,000.

How do these commitments make you feel when compared to the Groovin' promise?

Below are the three promises in their own words from their materials/websites.

From Groovin' ...

"Groovin' On Granola, which produces a variety of gluten-free, all-natural granola snack products will contribute $.02 to the Music Empowers Foundation for every package purchased beginning November 1, 2011. All packages of Groovin' On Granola will feature the Music Empowers logo and website address."

From Lowe's ...
"Through the Plant for the Cure® program Lowe’s will donate 10 percent of the retail sales price of select flowering plants during the program period (bearing the Plant for the Cure® tag) to Komen for the Cure with a minimum guaranteed donation of $250,000."

From Cheerios ...
"Cheerios will send extra “Cheer” to military families by donating $1 to the USO for each postcard received from specially marked packages through November 30, 2012. To kick off the campaign, Cheerios has already donated $150,000 to the USO, and will donate up to an additional $100,000 based upon the number of postcards received. "

Cause Marketing Readings of the Week - October 17

Here’s the best of the best of cause marketing information from the last week:

Do Galas & Charities Really Benefit Your Cause?
Interesting post from Seth Godin. How much of the “door price” actually benefits your charity or cause?

Hy-Vee, Sarah Lee & P&G Partner for Points & Schools
Hy-Vee partnered with Procter & Gamble and Sara Lee in the SMART Points program, which ran from September through November last year and has been renewed again for 2012. SMART Points allows customers to vote for their favorite schools in an effort to win prizes for those schools and for students.

Cheerios, NASCAR & The USO: A winning combination?
Note the transparency and specificity of this cause-marketing campaign: A partnership between Cheerios and the USO to help support military families by sending “Cheer” postcards from the front of specially marked packages of Cheerios cereal found in stores October through November, 2011. People can simply cut out the postcard from the box, write a message of thanks on the back, add a stamp, and mail the pre-addressed postcard to the USO. The USO will deliver the postcards to military families. In addition, Cheerios will send extra “Cheer” to military families by donating $1 to the USO for each postcard received from specially marked packages through November 30, 2012. To kick off the campaign, Cheerios has already donated $150,000 to the USO, and will donate up to an additional $100,000 based upon the number of postcards received. The donation will go towards USO programs that help connect families with their loved ones while deployed.