Displaying articles for: March 2011
Network for Good has been tracking the generosity of US donors in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11, 2011. The Chronicle of Philanthropy estimates that over $161 million has been given to support relief efforts. Network for Good has processed over $6.5 million through our own portal www.networkforgood.org and via several partner sites that span media and news sites, charitable giving portals and social media and peer-to-peer sites.
Corporate communities have also mobilized customers and employees with compelling and convenient ways to support relief efforts. Network for Good media partners Yahoo! and AOL have embedded ‘how to help’ links in disaster news stories that enable site visitors to easily support a relief organization when the call to action is top of mind. Other companies have set up disaster giving campaigns through our partners AngelPoints and YourCause.com to invite employees to support one or a handful of charities working on the front lines of the relief efforts. The results are consistent: lots of individuals showing solidarity and support for our brothers and sisters in Japan.
Even more encouraging, has been the outpouring of corporate aid, in the forms of cash donations, matching grants and in-kind gifts, that have been promised for Japan relief. The US Chamber of Commerce has a Corporate Aid Tracker that reports on corporate donations in the wake of disasters. To date, the corporate aid commitment from companies exceeds $241 million. This includes promises from major corporations including AT&T (free calls and texts to Japan through March 31st), Honda ($3.75 million), PepsiCo ($1.5 million), 3M ($2.5 million), and Walmart ($5 million plus in-kind).
Corporate aid for Japan relief ranks among the top three disaster responses mobilized by the corporate community. Only response efforts for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the Indian Ocean Tsunami rank higher. The Response to the earthquake in Haiti is ranked fourth.
Image courtesy of the US Chamber of Commerce
Cupcakes seem to be the new “it food. They have replaced cakes at many weddings, are consumed with delight by characters on TV and drive people to wait in a line as long as the one for the new Harry Potter ride for just a taste of a Georgetown Cupcake here in DC. So what’s the equivalent of a cupcake in the cause marketing world? Random Acts of Kindness (R.A.K.), of course! Just like cupcakes, random acts of kindness are small gestures with sweet motivations that leave the doer and the receiver feeling good about the world. They are THE way to engage consumers on charity this year. TrendWatching.com listed R.A.K. as the number one consumer trend for 2011. And they aren’t alone.
For example, in 2009, Yahoo! launched the “You In?” campaign, which has now evolved into the “Ripples of Kindness” program that tracks how one good deed can influence others to pay it forward. By inviting Yahoo! users to share their good deeds, the company encourages more use of its platform and brands such as Yahoo!Mail, but also taps into the passions its users have for doing good. Not only do users feel good about completing a random act of kindness, but they also get a halo effect among their social networks by sharing that good deed with the intention of inspiring others to follow suit. You can read a recap of some very inspiring acts on Yahoo!News.
Have you heard of Generation G (G for generosity not greed)? Generation G is TrendWatching.com’s monicher for what BBMG calls The New Consumer or as what we often think of as conscious consumers who vote with their wallets – people who care about the impact their purchases have on each other and the environment. Generation G is “an online-fueled culture of individuals who share, give, engage, create and collaborate in large numbers”. These are the 80% of consumers, according to Cone, who are likely to switch brands, similar in price and quality, to one that supports a cause.
Why does R.A.K. hit home with Generation G? These consumers don’t trust marketers and don’t necessarily respond to tradiational marketing messages. But they do trust their friends and keep track of what trends bubble up in their social networks. Generation G seeks to have a similar raport with the brands they love as they do with peers – authentic, casual and fun. And doesn’t that descibe the ethos of a random act of kindness?
A cause marketing campaign centered around random acts of kindness allows you to insert your brand in the middle of a personal interaction designed to make everyone feel good. That’s a powerful way to build brand loyalty. However, there is a danger of overusing the R.A.K. concept and turning off the very consumers you seek to court. TrendWatching.com has a few tips to help the success of your Random Acts of Kindness campaigns:
- Be genuine
- Be personal, but not too personal
- Be compassionate, not crass
- Make it shareable
- Have meaning and purpose
- Get real
- Don’t intrude, or be pushy, or sell
- Don’t make R.A.K. too frequent
You can read more and see campaign examples from TrendWatching.com on the website.
Here’s everything you need to know about BBMG’s latest report – UNLEASHED: How New Consumers Will Revolutionize Brands and Scale Sustainability. Thanks to Katya Andresen, Network for Good’s COO, for pointing out this fascinating report. Please download the PDF – it’s engaging, interactive and worth a dedicated read.
BBMG has undertaken a deep investigation of what motivates a new breed of consumer – “the value and values-minded New Consumer”. (You may have heard them referred to as “conscious consumers”.) These are consumers who vote with their wallets to support companies and brands that promote social and environmental responsibility.
Image from BBMG
What does the New Consumer look like?
Meet Lisa, a 31-year old sales account manager with liberal arts degree in history. Lisa enjoys the eclectic food selections at Trader Joe’s and the trendy reasonably-priced goods at Target. When she feels like splurging, Lisa loves to sample local and organic treats at the farmers market. She just renovated her kitchen with sustainable products like bamboo flooring, recycled glass tile and energy-saving appliances. For her daily commute, Lisa opts for public transportation, but is so glad she has her 2001 Prius for weekend use. Lisa adores her new TOMS Shoes Cordones because they’re cute and comfortable - and especially because they support a free pair of shoes for a child in need.
How many Lisas are out there?
According to BBMG, these consumers make up 30% of the US adult population – and 70 million people can certainly start a movement. New Consumers are early adopters of new trends, have a big influence on their peers and social networks and are more interested in experiences than new shiny objects. In fact, according to BBMG, New Consumers are more than twice as likely to:
- try new things
- share their opinions online
- reward (or punish) brands based on corporate practices
How do you court the New Consumer?
Here are BBMG’s suggestions for wooing conscious consumers. But be warned, to truly win them over, you must make an authentic, transparent and long-term commitment to social and environmental impact. They won’t believe anything less.
- Deliver total value (practical, social/environmental, and tribal benefits)
- Paint a bigger picture (position the consumer’s impact within in the larger product lifecycle)
- Be their champion (help consumers express their passions, create their own solutions and connect with like-minded others)
- Make more out of less (move focus from the product to how the product helps consumers have new experiences, build communities and make a positive impact)
- Invite them in (let consumers be a part of the product creation, let them embody the brand ethos)
You can download the full report on BBMG’s website
Network for Good this month reached a major milestone in online giving - $500 million in donations processed for over 60,000 nonprofits since it was founded in 2001. The total included more than $5.8 million in Japan relief in the past twelve days.
Network for Good has powered Japan relief donations through its own website, links through Yahoo! and AOL, and via several partners such as Causes on Facebook and Capital One. Network for Good curates a list of relief organizations responding to the crisis and works with partners to promote donation links so donors can make informed giving decisions. In response to the Japan disaster, over 60% of donations have been made via media partners such as AOL and Yahoo!, who promote ‘how to help’ links on their homepages and embedded in news articles.
As with other past disasters, many donations are directed to the American Red Cross (about 60%) and the top five charities make up over 80% of all relief donations. Other organizations rounding out the top five include: The Salvation Army, Save the Children, AmeriCares and the Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Northern California. Most of the over $218,000 in donations to the Japanese Cultural & Community Center were made by 2,000 supporters of the organization’s ‘Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund’ on Causes on Facebook, demonstrating the reach and expediency of social networks during times of disaster. Unlike other past disasters where the giving peaks and falls within a few days, the donation volume for Japan relief remained steady throughout the first week of disaster response. The donation volume trended in lockstep with the media coverage of the response and complications such as, aftershocks, tsunami alerts, nuclear warnings, electricity outages, and snow and freezing temperatures.
Network for Good's Japan releif page can be found at http://www1.networkforgood.org/help-survivors-paci
Network for Good has processed over $1 million in donations for charities responding to the disaster in Japan. The Chronicle of Philanthropy estimates that over $10 million has been raised so far in the US. Thank you to all our partners and friends who are featuring ways to help on your sites and within your communities.
With international disasters, information flows in slowly and there are bursts of donations as media outlets uncover new elements of the story. It is important to keep ‘how to help’ links and resources front and center so that when news breaks and the call to action is urgent, donors can easily respond.
Currently, we are seeing donors supporting major known relief charities because people want assurance that their money will go to direct aid on the ground. Navigating a response requires an organization who is already embedded in the affected country with staff at the ready and a history of providing aid, services and resources. Top charities on the Network for Good platform include:
- American Red Cross (60%)
- Salvation Army (17%)
- Save the Children (6%)
- GlobalGiving (5%)
- AmeriCares (3%)
We will continue to update our community on the response. You can find an expanded list of relief organizations on our Japan Disaster Page. Please let us know if we can help with your disaster response efforts for customers or employees.
-Network for Good Team