January 10, 2012

Cause marketing campaigns making an impact


These nonprofits are teaming up with corporations to make a difference

Target audience: Nonprofits, NGOs, cause organizations, social enterprises, businesses, brands, CSR professionals, marketing managers.

Guest post by Daryn Sung-Lee, for Vivanista

At Vivanista we believe that we all have a bit of philanthropist inside us. Beneath the protective masks we put on lays the innate desire to do good. Cause marketing, where a company partners with a cause like breast cancer research or a charity donates funds to tsunami relief, enables regular people to consume mainstream products while doing their small part.


Although there’s nothing like good old-fashioned hands-on philanthropy, it does give causes and nonprofits the visibility and marketing resources they couldn’t get on their own. eBay, the world’s largest e-commerce company, is breaking ground in the world of cause marketing. They started an in-house cause called Giving Works in 2003, which allows eBay users to donate money to any cause of their choice. Basically, users can choose to donate money along with a purchase, or donate a percentage of whatever they sell to an organization. In this way, eBay has made it incredibly easy for thousands of nonprofits, big or small, to receive funds and visibility.


With Twitter and Facebook making it even easier to become informed about local and world causes and charities, and with support from businesses, cause marketing is beginning to make a difference

Last year Microsoft’s Bing search engine received the Cause Marketing Halo Award, given by the Cause Marketing Forum, for their partnership with DonorsChoose.org. With the cause of education in mind, both organizations sponsored a contest called Our School Needs, where students from schools across the nation sent videos, pictures and essays explaining their schools’ needs. Bing and DonorsChoose were responsible for donations and projects in schools across all 50 states. As a result of the contest, children gained a familiarity with social media tools like Twitter, blogs, playlists and YouTube, which they used to submit their schools to the contest. Continue reading

March 11, 2011

‘Goodness Engine’ ebook: A social hackathon for DonorsChoose


JD LasicaAcouple of months back, some smart folks came together in San Francisco to provide creative technology and marketing strategies for DonorsChoose.org in a first of its kind “social hackathon.” DonorsChoose raises funds for public classrooms. Several of my friends were there — Beth Kanter, Chris Brogan, Chris Messina, Ben Parr, Kathy Sierra — as well as representatives from Bing, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, REI, Twitter and WebTrends.

Out of this gathering, put on by marketing agency Deep Focus, came a free ebook, Goodness Engine: Driving Greater Social Impact in the Digital World, which aims to help nonprofits — and, yes, businesses — learn about how to use social media for social good, including topics ranging from driving online traffic to creating dynamic content and managing online engagement.

From the introduction of the 54-page ebook:

“We are now more connected than ever before. Power in numbers — especially online — has become our everyday reality. Rallying, organizing and motivating are no longer hurdles, but life-changing opportunities. Passions become movements. Movements make impacts. Impacts re-shape our world. In the spirit of connecting for good, Microsoft’s Bing and Hotmail teams brought together luminaries within the tech industry to help DonorsChoose.org address its ongoing technology and marketing challenges. Deep Focus attended the event and distilled the best ideas, tactics and creative solutions into an in-depth analysis that can serve both nonprofit and for-profit companies with corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives.”

Download the free book Continue reading