Top 5 Posts - #1: Cause Marketing Trends

by Network for Good Specialist on ‎12-31-2012 3:00 AM, EST

We're pleased to bring you our top 5 blog posts of 2012!


#1: 5 Cause Marketing Trends You Need to Know [NEW NETWORK FOR GOOD GUIDE]


By Kate Olsen


5 CM Trends_Network for Good.jpgToday, Network for Good releases a new eGuide for corporations – Digital Strategy for Good: Avoiding Cause Marketing Missteps - 5 Key Trends.  In this eGuide, Network for Good provides an overview of 5 cause marketing trends shaping digital consumer engagement and provides interesting examples of how brands are putting them into practice to win the hearts of their consumers. 


Have you noticed how noisy it is out there in marketing land?  If your ears are buzzing from the cacophony, come join us over here in consumer engagement land – it’s much more exciting and fun!



Read the original post here.




Happy New Year from everyone at Network for Good!


Top 5 Posts - #2: Millennial Myths

by Network for Good Specialist on ‎12-28-2012 3:00 AM, EST

We're pleased to bring you our top 5 blog posts of 2012!


#2: Millennial Myths: Cause Marketing


By Allison McGuire


I want my MTV.jpgGrowing up with MTV certainly puts me in the Millennial camp. From following the latest drama going down in the Real World house to jamming to the newest videos hosted by Carson Daly, I came of age with an appreciation (in this case, meaning knowledge) of overly dramatic spats and overly constricted clothing. I’ve moved past my MTV days though, as Pimp My Ride didn’t really do it for me.


That said, I was very pleased to see MTV issue a press release rebutting some of the fresh claims about “Generation Me” aka Millennials. A recent academic study purports that my generation is minimally interested in “participating in a community action program” (Millennials, 36%), and sees a decrease in “developing a meaningful philosophy of life” (Baby Boomers 73.0%; Gen X: 46.9%; Millennials, 44.6%).



Read the original post here.

Top 5 Posts - #3: Millennial Engagement

by Network for Good Specialist on ‎12-27-2012 3:00 AM, EST

We're pleased to bring you our top 5 blog posts of 2012!


#3: What Millennials Want: Engagement


By Allison McGuire


I’m not talking about nuptials. (Millennials are actually less likely to show interest in marriage than older generations.)


As the resident Millennial on the Network for Good partnerships team, I’m here to tell you that, to my generation, engagement means being appreciated for our work, feeling we are contributing to the greater good, and having opportunities to give back our time and energy through volunteering.


Read the original post here.


Feed UR Mind.jpg

Top 5 Posts - #4: Disaster Giving

by Network for Good Specialist on ‎12-26-2012 3:00 AM, EST

We're pleased to bring you our top 5 blog posts of 2012!


#4: Choosing Cause Partners: Corporate Disaster Giving

By Kate Olsen


HurricaneIsaacPrep_RedCross_375x280pxl.jpgIt’s vital for corporations to work with trusted cause partners, and never more so than during a disaster. Most savvy cause marketers forge partnerships with causes whose mission and values align well with the corporate brand and CSR goals. 


According to Regine Webster, Executive Director of The Center for Disaster Philanthropy,


“Every company has its own philanthropic priorities and key issue areas. Whenever possible, you should seek to align your corporate disaster response programs with those overall themes. If your company invests in childhood education, for example, choose to promote a respected nonprofit working to rebuild schools in the wake of a devastating tornado or earthquake. Your overall CSR and philanthropic impact will be the stronger for it.”




Read the original post here.

Top 5 Posts - #5: Employee Engagement

by Network for Good Specialist on ‎12-24-2012 3:10 AM, EST

We're pleased to bring you our top 5 blog posts of 2012!


#5: What Employees Want (Hint: CSR Plays A Part)


By Kate Olsen

Engagement blocks.gif

Last week, Fast Company featured an article by Bill Catlette and Richard Hadden on “How to Foster Outrageously Awesome Employee Engagement”.  The article is an excerpt from their book Contented Cows Still Give Better Milk, Revised and Expanded: The Plain Truth about Employee Engageme... (now on my reading list!).


While I was reading the article, I couldn’t help making clear connections between Catlette and Hadden’s recommendations for fostering a productive, vibrant and fulfilling work environment and what I know to be effective for employee-driven corporate responsibility (CSR) efforts.  While the words “corporate responsibility” never appear in this article, the connection is implied: a company that cares about its employees and respects them as individuals will undoubtedly respect the ecosystem of stakeholders in which it conducts business. 


Read the original post here.

Final Countdown, C4G Style

by Network for Good Specialist on ‎12-21-2012 3:00 AM, EST

By Allison McGuire



Final Countdown.jpgCue the music! As an end-of-the-year treat, we're excited to bring you our top 5 blog posts of 2012. As you know, our posts cover cause marketing, employee engagement, disaster relief, holiday trends, loyalty and rewards, Millennials trends, social innovation, and much more.


We'll give you #5 on Monday, skip posting on Christmas, then countdown the rest.




Don't forget to share YOUR favorite cause marketing campaign of 2012 via Twitter with the hashtag #C4Gchat. We're pooling responses, and will share them in the new year.







                                      Happy holidays from everyone at Network for Good.







Although it's amazing, it's not mine--the image was found here.

We Did Good Awards 2012

by Network for Good Specialist ‎12-20-2012 3:00 AM, EST

By Kate Olsen


We-Did-Good-Banner.gifWe at Network for Good would like to take a moment during this busy time of year to salute the incredible impact our partners generated this year.  Our partners made a difference for thousands of nonprofits, not to mention all those in need who benefit from those nonprofits’ programs.  We salute their efforts to give back with the We Did Good Awards for cause marketing, disaster relief giving, employee engagement, rewards & loyalty, social good platform and volunteering.  You can see all the award winners here.


We would also like to share a few highlights from 2012 to illustrate our partners’ commitment to doing good in partnership with Network for Good:



Warner Bros. & DC Entertainment launched the We Can Be Heroes campaign to support famine relief in the Horn of Africa with donations equally benefiting the International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, and Save the Children.  Donations have reached $1 million, which DC Entertainment matched 100%.



The second annual Generosity Day took place on February 14.  The inaugural Generosity Day, on Valentine’s Day 2011, was hosted by Sasha Dichter, CIO of the Acumen Fund, Scott Case, former CEO of Malaria No More and current CEO of StartUp America Partnership, Ellen McGirt of Fast Company, and Katya Andresen, COO & CSO at Network for Good.  This year, the campaign was hosted on, where participants could make a pledge to say ‘yes’ to being generous for 24 hours, recruit their friends and family to participate and share their acts of kindness. 



Yahoo! News launched ‘Remake America,' an original video series chronicling the lives of six American families as they struggle to achieve ‘The American Dream’.  ‘Remake America’ teamed up with U.S. charities to aid the six families that appear on the series and others like them. Through these charities, viewers had an opportunity to find resources and expert advice, as well as support other families in similar situations across the U.S. through embedded donation links in the content.



More than 22,000 runners participated in the Boston Marathon, sponsored by John Hancock. Each year, John Hancock provides local non-profit organizations with guaranteed entries into the race and the tools and support to help their runners raise money to for their missions.  More than 1,000 runners set up fundraisers on CrowdRise, the official fundraising partner, raising millions for charity.    



Network for Good launched a new version of our donation processing web service featuring PayPal payments, making it simple for Network for Good's partners to add PayPal to their sites, products and mobile applications and collect donations.



Kevin Bacon, actor, musician and founder of (in partnership with Network for Good) headlined at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service in Chicago.  Kevin shared the story of how he came to found and challenged us all to become a celebrity for a cause close to our hearts.



Network for Good initiated our inaugural monthly Companies for Good Twitter chat (#C4Gchat) with a theme of patriotic cause marketing.  The chat featured AT&T’s Helping Heroes Home campaign (part of on the company’s Connect for Good platform on to support Cell Phones for Soldiers – a nonprofit organization that provides American troops serving overseas cost free methods to stay connected with their families back home.   Additionally, the chat highlighted the Got Your 6 partnership to advance the successful reintegration of the more than 1 million veterans returning back into civilian life over the next five years. 



Network for Good launched the new ‘How to Help’ microsite, a secure, branded campaign tool for collecting donations for charities speeding relief to disaster victims. In the wake of natural disasters, Network for Good powers giving for companies such as Adobe, AOL, Emtec, LinkedIn, Time Warner, and Zuora.



YourCause, innovator of CSRConnect - an all-inclusive online employee engagement platform for volunteering and giving, hosted its annual CSRWorks client summit with the theme "Innovation through Collaboration".  Participants gained insights on the latest trends in employee engagement and learned about best practices from peers.



Capital One associates participated in “One Week,” a dedicated week of community service to improve lives and strengthen communities. One Week activities focused on the areas of education, financial literacy, affordable housing and economic development – the four pillars of Capital One’s Investing for Good community relations platform – with events across the country. Capital One also hosts the No Hassle Giving Site where cardholders can donate cash or rewards to over 1 million charities.  Capital One generously covers all transaction fees so 100% of donations reach the recipient charities.



LinkedIn launched a Superstorm Sandy relief campaign to benefit nonprofit partner Covenant House.  LinkedIn leadership matched the first $100,000 in donations to double the impact for homeless youth in Atlantic City who were displaced by the hurricane and subsequent flooding.



Inspired by the threat facing the polar bear and its habitat, Coca-Cola and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have joined forces to help protect the polar bear's home. As part of the Arctic Home effort, currently underway, Coca-Cola committed $2 million over 5 years and has agreed to match up to $1 million of consumer donations made during the Winter 2012-2013 campaign.


We thank our partners and all our Companies for Good friends for your pledge to give back with customers and employees.  We look forward to even more impact in 2013.

Give Good: Everybody's Doing It

by Network for Good Specialist ‎12-19-2012 3:00 AM, EST

By Allison McGuire*


Giving good (aka donating to charity, volunteering, etc.) creates a euphoric chemical reaction in the brain known as the ‘helper’s high’**. That’s why you feel satisfied after taking time out of your busy week to support the causes you care about most or ladle soup with the homeless women’s shelter across the street.


The holidays are a perfect time for everyone to give back to local communities and favorite causes. From #GivingTuesday to ‘Secret Santa for Good’, there are myriad opportunities to get involved.


NFG_GClast_425x600.jpgCare about cause

As you know, companies incorporate cause into their business models for reasons ranging from higher employee retention to increased customer loyalty. There are some compelling stats around cause being associated with corporate brands, and, as ‘tis the season of giving, consumers and employees alike are especially interested in feel-good events.


Don’t just take my word for it—the proof is in the pudding! According to recent research by Cone, Inc., nearly 90% of consumers want companies to support causes at the holidays and almost ¾ of employees wish their company would do more to support causes.

While corporate cause campaigns occur throughout the year, the holiday season is the perfect time for companies to spend remaining marketing budgets and/or philanthropic dollars.


Be a company that gives back.

For example, you can:

  • Thank your employees with charity gift cards;
  • Send motivating messages to keep up spirits through the end of the year;
  • Illustrate the impact your corporate giving program has yielded.


Whatever you do this holiday season, make sure to keep it light, keep it fun, and keep it good.







*A version of this post originally appeared on Vitamin W Media. VitaminW is a social enterprise platform dedicated to addressing issues related to women. Check them out!



**Helper’s High:  (noun): 1. The feeling of euphoria that people report after giving to charity  2. An activated psychological state induced by charitable activity




How to Support Newtown Families

by Network for Good Specialist on ‎12-18-2012 3:00 AM, EST

By Allison McGuire

There are no words that can express the pain felt from the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. As we're seeing a response in giving, we wanted to provide you with opportunities to support the victims, survivors, and their families--or give your employees, customers, or site visitors ways to help. Here are a few options:


  • Donate to The United Way of Western Connecticut. Both the American Red Cross and Newtown Family Services are asking people to donate to this nonprofit. Please designate your donations to 'Sandy Hook School Support Fund'.

The United Way of Western Connecticut is committed to providing support and resources where and when they become identified and needed. As people from the area and beyond respond to this heartbreaking tragedy, they are turning to United Way looking for ways to help. In response, United Way of Western Connecticut in partnership with Newtown Savings Bank has created the 'Sandy Hook School Support Fund' that will be able to provide support services to the families and community that has been affected.






By Allison McGuire


In case you missed it, we're crowdsourcing favorite cause marketing campaigns of 2012 with our #C4Gchat. Last Thursday, we were lucky to have a number of companies, agencies, and cause marketing aficionados join the online conversation by providing their picks of the best campaigns in 2012. 


We want YOU to join! Tweet @Companies4Good your favorite cause marketing campaign from this year. Use #C4Gchat and we'll capture all the responses. We'll report back in the new year.


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Here's a taste of featured #C4Gchat campaigns thus far:


  • A true partnership - Campbell's Just Peachy Salsa - The New Jersey Food Bank collects peaches--in addition to donated ingredients--and Campbell's employees volunteer time to can the salsa. The salsa is then sold sans the Campbell's name.



  • Shopping for good - Sainsbury's 1 Million Meal Appeal - The UK food giant asked shoppers to add one additional item to their carts, helping those in need. Sainsbury matched each item 1:1. The donated goods were then sent to local charities for disbursement.


What was/is YOUR favorite cause marketing campaign this year? Share on Twitter by using #C4Gchat. We'll attribute your contribution with your Twitter handle.


Happy Tweeting!


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By Kate Olsen


Last week, I had the pleasure of attending The US Chamber of Commerce’s Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) 2012 Corporate Citizenship Awar..., known as “The Citizens”. The nominees were narrowed down to 4 or 5 companies for each of 4 categories (winners in bold below).  What struck me about the pool of nominees and their programs, was that most companies were being recognized for programs that align with their core business capabilities.  It’s heartening to see the field of corporate social responsibility (CSR) evolving to a point were corporate savvy and philanthropic dollars go hand in hand to address social issues while building business.  CSR is coming for age!


Take GM for example.  The company spent the past 5 years turbocharging its recycling program through the GM ‘Saving Green by Thinking Green’ program and learned just how much sustainable practices can reduce waste, enhance productivity and efficiency, and improve quality.  In 2011, GM recycled or reused more than 2.6 million metric tons of waste materials in plants worldwide, avoiding 10 million metric tons of CO2 emissions.  That’s smart business.


Or Google.  Google’s ‘Get Your Business Online’ program helps small businesses get a free website, domain and Web hosting, as well as the expertise businesses need to build a good Web presence.  Google is ensuring that small businesses don’t get left behind with advancing technology and helping grow its search, advertising and other business lines.  That’s ‘good’ business.


cap 1 - BCLC.jpgOr Capital One.  Capital One’s ‘Investing for Good’ program targets community investments in four areas: affordable housing, education, small business and workforce development, and financial literacy.  While the market for community development loans decrease 45% during the recession, Capital One’s increased 270%, proving that responsible lending, paired with guidance and oversight can create opportunity even in tough economic times.  Through the initiative, Capital One not only helps communities in need, but also builds its own loan portfolio and customer base.  That’s responsible business.


These are but a few snapshots of innovative and generous projects making a difference for communities and businesses alike.  If you want to read more about the 2012 Citizens nominees and winners, check out the BCLC website.


Best Corporate Steward

  • Capital One Financial Corporation*
  • DSM
  • IBM Corporation
  • UnitedHealth Group


Best Business Neighbor

  • The Dow Chemical Company
  • General Motors Company
  • Google Inc.*
  • National Football League
  • UPS


Best International Ambassador

  • Alcoa Foundation
  • FedEx
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Qualcomm Inc.
  • Xylem


Best Partnership (People’s Choice Award)

  • Caterpillar and First Response Team of America
  • Hilton Worldwide and Global Soap Project
  • Intel Corporation and World Vision
  • General Mills, Merck & Co., Inc. and CARE
  • WellPoint and Boys and Girls Club of America



*Network for Good Partner


Photo Credit: Capital One Financial Corporation

By Kate Olsen


Since 2010, Network for Good has been tracking digital philanthropy across several distinct channels including: individual charity websites, charity portals, and social giving (peer-to-peer) websites and applications. 


While the majority of charitable giving occurs directly on nonprofit websites (60-75%), portals have historically played an important secondary role.  With the exception of disaster response giving and December year-end giving, social networks for social good have established themselves as a key giving channel.  Social giving is increasingly becoming a go-to giving option, comprising 17% of overall giving through Network for Good’s platform.


You can find more giving trends and observations in the Q3 2012 update to The Network for Good Digital Giving Index.  This Index builds on data and insights from the Online Giving Study, released in December 2009. This update includes trends and analysis on over $26 million in donations to more than 20,000 charities through the Network for Good platform in Q3 2012. The platform includes donations to Network for Good’s nonprofit customers through their own websites; other nonprofits through more than 40 corporate partner websites; and Network for Good’s giving portals, and

Index highlights include:


  • Donation Dollar Index.jpgOverall giving increased in Q3 2012 versus the same period in 2011, with the exception of portal giving.
  • Most charitable giving through the Network for Good platform in Q3 2012 was via charity websites (68%), followed by social giving (17%), then portals (9%).
  • Average gifts on branded donation pages tend to be about 20% to 30% larger than on generic donation pages. When a charity has created a donation experience that reinforces its brand and connection to its supporters, the results speak for themselves: higher average gifts that grow over time.
  • Social giving made up 17% of all donations through Network for Good in Q3 2012, consistent with results from Q2 2011 (18%).

Download the Q3 2012 Digital Giving Index update now!

Network for Good today released an infographic describing what we’ve learned from the response to Superstorm Sandy Relief campaigns.  Tonight is a benefit concert for those still struggling to recover (the 12/12/12 event).  You can find charities supporting the recovery here.


Trouble viewing it?  Go here.


10 Ways MLB Hits It Out of The Park

by Network for Good Specialist ‎12-07-2012 3:00 AM, EST

By Allison McGuire


This is a continuation of a post on the reasons MLB's cause campaigns work.


To explore Major League Baseball's overall cause strategy and understand examples of execution, I spoke with Jacqueline Parkes—MLB’s Chief Marketing Officer—who oversees their community activities.


Here are my full 10 takeaways on why MLB's cause portfolio hits it out of the park (cheesy,I know):


1)    Compassion comes from the top. 

2)    Causes are diverse. 

3)    When they commit, they put in 110%.

4)    Community is paramount. 

5)    Everyone is involved.


6)    Actions make a difference. Due to Commissioner Selig’s vision, MLB’s cause marketing, and the teams’ support of nonprofits, charities’ missions are moved forward. MLB provides metrics so nonprofits can sustain their models and grow. For example, when Stand Up To Cancer was featured during Game One of the World Series, more people went to and donated, than any other day in the nonprofit’s history (with the exception of a couple of nationally hosted telethons).


7)    MLB has a stake in the game.  Whether it be partnering with nonprofits or creating their own foundation, MLB has a stake in thriving communities, and thinks deeply about what work they can do to increase involvement. For example, MLB created the Welcome Back Veterans foundation to “help those coming back from war, facing unbelievable challenges,” says Parkes. “We can support them by helping to provide health care and mental health support.” Consider this scary statistic: more men and women have committed suicide once they’ve returned from war than have actually died in combat. That’s not acceptable, and MLB is working to change that.


8)    Challenges are acknowledged. It sounds like MLB has a carefully crafted philanthropic mission that is operating efficiently. Is it possible there are any hiccups? “The biggest challenge is there’s so much need,” Parkes explained. “It’s hard not to say yes. We’d like to address all problems, but we’re also putting on baseball games. We need to focus on tangible results that move our mission forward, and monitor and audit that charitable focus.”


9)    Influenced is used for good. “Listen, we’re MLB. We’re very fortunate that we’ve had First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden help us with Welcome Back Veterans. We’ve also had celebrities donate their time (see video below) to film PSAs for Stand Up To Cancer. That’s all wonderful, but there’s so much more work to be done.”




10)    Culture matters. “It’s really important to us that the vision comes from the top, because it means we’re all carrying that mission forward. It’s not just marketing. My advice to companies thinking about cause programs is this: think about how much money you can give—assets, resources, employee time, marketing—and consider how your program can be the most successful. Your company and its culture need to be bought into charitable organizations’ values. It doesn’t work any other way.”

News Alert! Customers Like Surprises

by Network for Good Specialist on ‎12-05-2012 3:00 AM, EST

By Allison McGuire


This is a continuation of a post on the ‘10 Ways to Convert More Customers Using Psychology’ infographic.


As I’d mentioned before, Help Scout’s infographic holds useful lessons for marketers. I’m here to explain the ways cause marketers can use the same data to power cause consumption and campaign support. All bolded text is from Help Scout's infographic.


1)      Help customers break through “action paralysis” by setting minimums.

2)      Embrace the power of labels.

3)      Understand the 3 types of buyers.

4)      Highlight strengths by admitting shortcomings.

5)      Use urgency the smart way.


6)      Make their brain light up ‘instantly’. When people think participating in your campaign (e.g. purchasing a product, donating online) equals a giant time suck, they become less likely to go through with that action. To combat this fear, provide simple, fast ways to get your audience involved, speak to the frustration of taking their time, and show appreciation when they do participate. Explain how their action will only take X number of minutes, (even better, break it into seconds!) and that the rewards reaped will be high.


7)      Make an enemy. In cause marketing, this isn’t a lesson I’d highlight, but there is something worthwhile here. Don’t harp about how your competitor’s campaign is inferior (in fact, that will cause you to lose supporters); show how your method is noteworthy. It’s okay to take a different approach—explain how your cause strategy fits your business goals.


Zeitgeist shopper.jpg8)      Stand for something. Most of the work is done here for me, but when your consumers hold shared values with your company, they’ll keep coming back for more. A perfect example of this is Warby Parker. The glasses company has fostered a community around shared values and relies on word-of-mouth referrals for the bulk of its business. From Inc., “In short, people are proud of Warby Parker, and want to share the company's mission with their friends and family.”


9)      Devil’s advocate. This is an interesting concept—when people have their ideas questioned, they become more entrenched in their beliefs—which cause marketers can use to their advantage. For a number of reasons, some consumers are skeptical about companies supporting cause. As Help Scout says, “Address their concerns and dismiss them with…research information and examples.”


Keep ‘em on their toes. News alert! Customers like surprises. Show them how you do good in new and exciting ways. Connect with them via social media, delight with cause rewards, and provide incentives for folks to stay involved.



 Love the image, but it's not mine! Check it out here:

By Kate Olsen


The first half of December is primetime for charity rewards. Why? According to several studies profiled in the Washington Post[i], a bonus you spend on someone else is more motivating than a bonus you spend on yourself. 


By letting your customers, clients or employees direct where your corporate philanthropic dollars get spent, you emphasize your commitment to cause and give them the thrill of a reward.


The gift of charity is an easy and ideal way to:

  • Thank employee volunteers with ‘dollars for doers’ incentives
  • Show customers & clients you appreciate their business
  • Recruit fans to online and social campaigns

SnagFilms Secret Santa.jpg

SnagFilms ‘Secret Santa for Good’ Sweepstakes[ii] December 2011



Our Good Card® - a gift card for charity – allows your audience to choose their favorite charities to support, but your company gets the tax credit.  It’s an ideal way to demonstrate that your company is interested in what your customers and employees care about.

Learn more with our Holiday Good Guide!


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About This Blog

Companies for Good shares insights on cause marketing and corporate social responsibility topics to inform your charitable engagement with consumers and employees. Network for Good empowers corporate partners to unleash generosity and advance good causes. The blog celebrates that work and provides expertise and resources to help you do well and do good. Learn more

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