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.