I was supposed to lead a workshop at the Cause Marketing Forum on Social Media and Cause Marketing at the end of May. I was looking forward to it because Michael Hoffman at C3 was a sponsor and participating. Unfortunately, I had to cancel and asked Scott Henderson if he’d do on my behalf.
I decided to do an interview with Scott to learn more about what he is learning about social media and cause-related marketing.
Who are you?
I am a cause marketing director for MediaSauce, helping non-profits and corporations use online media to pull off their next big thing.
Tell us about the “Pledge to End Hunger” you recently launched to benefit Share Our Strength
The main goals were to raise awareness of childhood hunger in America, give people the tools to take meaningful action to help end this solvable problem, and create a case study from which non-profits and corporations could learn how to better use social media in their cause marketing.
Our primary audience was more of a profile than a group. We were seeking to find individuals who cared about the cause and would be willing to rally their respective communities (social media and in-person) to take action. Working from that profile we identified four categories:
1) Active Twitterati and bloggers from different niches
2) SXSWi attendees & ambient attendees (those following from home)
3) Individuals in the email databases of the corporations & non-profits leading the campaign, and
4) Wild cards – people separated from us by 2-3 relationship degrees who fit the profile
Gail and her husband Darryl — an ordinary couple from Boulder, Colo. — were sitting around one day and decided to make a difference in people’s lives around the world by launching an event that combines good vibes and charitable giving with the power of social media.
This fall they’ll be boarding a small prop prop plane, flying it more than 31,000 miles and visiting 50 cities around the world over five months. They’ll do three things in each location:
• Gather inspiration from local luminaries to share on Inspiremetoday.com.
• Give 2,000 hugs in each of those locations, “literally wrapping the world in more than 100,000 hugs,” Gail says.
• Give away more than $1 million to nonprofit causes in each of those 50 locations. The causes run the gamut from breast cancer and AIDS prevention and treatment to grizzly bear preservation.
Now, here’s where you — and the power of social media — come in: Starting May 11, they’ll begin raising $1 million (it could go higher) on the Globalhugtour.com site. Remarkably, the causes will be funded in $10 increments through the use of through social media, Twitter and other outreach tools.
“One hug in Chicago will feed three homeless people. Two hugs in Cambodia will pay the entire cost of educating a child for a year. 100 hugs in Chani, India, will pay the entire cost of open heart surgery for a child,” she says. “Just in Chani city there are 53,000 kids on a waiting list. It’s a crime to me to think that it only costs $1,000 to save a life. So that’s why we’re doing this.”
At the first Awareness2Action gathering in San Francisco in August 2008 I heard about eBay’s Giving Works program, which has raised $150 million for charitable causes on eBay over its first five years. These folks rock!
I swung down to eBay headquarters in San Jose a few weeks later and chatted with Kristin Cunningham, the program’s general manager. The video explains how you can help nonprofits through your purchases on eBay (and how nonprofits can help themselves).