Did you know U.S. teachers are funding their own classrooms? On average, each teacher spends $1,000 on school supplies. Total cost? $4 billion annually.
OfficeMax and Adopt-A-Classroom have joined forces to erase (pun intended) these teacher-funded classrooms.
Each year the company and its nonprofit partner team up for A Day Made Better (go to their site for a tear-jerking video), an annual, one-day-only event that awards over 1,000 teachers more than $1,000 each in school supplies. Talk about an authentic cause connection!
We talked with Bill Bonner, principal, bonnerIMPR, who was formerly the Senior Director of External Relations for OfficeMax to get the scoop on his work on this partnership.**
Here are the first 3 of 5 takeaways from the OfficeMax and Adopt-A-Classroom partnership:
1) Appreciation inspires
Kevin Ludden, a very creative and passionate team member, said, “I’d like to give teachers just one moment where we say ‘thank you’ [to convey respect and appreciation].” The light bulb went on […the big idea was] turning one day every year into a huge surprise party for teachers.
2) Brand differentiator
We literally had situations where [OfficeMax] customers [didn’t] know if they were in an OfficeMax or another office supply store. Nobody in the industry was doing anything remotely like A Day Made Better when we launched it. We knew the campaign would engage people at the community level and be unique to OfficeMax.
3) More than dollars
OfficeMax has been amazing in its philanthropic support of teachers and education, donating millions of dollars of goods and services. However, the goal wasn’t to see how much the company could donate, but how to inspire community members across the country to support their teachers.
How have you seen companies engaging authentically with cause? What are your favorite examples?
**All italicized text is Bill Bonner’s.