Customers are fickle. They want companies to communicate the impact they’re making but feel overwhelmed by messages of good (think: weariness over pink-washing and green-washing).
You can capitalize on this fickleness by providing bite-sized chunks of good spreading your social message. Check out Cone Communications' research on the most effective ways to communicate social and environmental impact. While social media may seem small at 7%, when added together, online and mobile channels comprise 22%.
Here are some examples of companies showcasing bites of good online:
Annie’s: Cheddar bunnies, mac & cheese, and…community gardens? Peppering ways to interact with the company’s “nourishing communities” is an Annie’s specialty. One way the company does this is via its crowdfunded, school-garden-building campaign.
Ribbons, promises to “do good”, and certifications saturate an already noisy consumer-focused marketplace. Consumers can be overwhelmed—fatigued, in fact—when there are too many messages and they all sound the same.
Cone’s newest Social Impact Study: The Next Cause Evolution explains how companies can break out from the norm by demonstrating impact and showcasing business transparency.
Ways you can do this right now:
- Give charity to your customers. Let them choose a cause of their choice and relate that affinity to your brand.
We're excited to release the following Network for Good Mid-Year 2013 Digital Giving Index Infographic, which includes our findings on $71 million in donations to over 20,000 charities via the Network for Good giving platform.* Donations are categorized via three channels: portal giving (like CrowdRise), charity websites, and peer-to-peer social giving.
The main takeaways worth noting are:
1) Giving is going digital. While overall giving is up 1.5%, online giving has risen 14%.
2) Social giving--via peer-to-peer sites--is increasing. In 2013, Network for Good cited a 60% increase via the platform in donation dollars over 2012.
3) People give more than you think. Branded giving pages see an average gift size of $118 and portal giving sees an average donation of $76.
In 1993 Cone Communications began tracking attitudes around cause marketing and the intersection between business and social good. Its latest social impact study, The Next Cause Evolution, has some juicy conscious consumerism tidbits and trends.
You should definitely read the report in its entirety—it’s very skim-able—but here are some of the key highlights if you’re short on time.
An affiliation with cause doesn’t does it differentiate your brand; social good is expected; social impact is the new standard. If your company thinks its CSR communications job is complete because of a one-off giving campaign or food drive, think again.
Annie’s Homegrown is synonymous with delicious, cheesy products. The food company—and, Network for Good partner—is also dedicated to providing kids the opportunity to connect with “real food” via its annual Gardens of Goodness program.
We had a chance to learn more about the motivations and tactics behind this year’s (ongoing!) campaign from Lauren Schiller, Annie’s Gardens of Goodness Lead. Check out part II of our conversation below and be sure to get involved!
AM: What’s the rationale behind this new crowdfunded campaign?
LS: This year’s Garden Funder campaign hosted on CrowdRise builds on Annie’s Grants for Garden program. By leveraging our passion for school gardens and social networks, we expand our impact by involving consumers as co-philanthropists and grantmakers, and as a result, help many more schools to fund their gardens.
It’s likely that you know Annie’s Homegrown from their mac & cheese, cheddar bunnies, and other kid-friendly products, made with healthier ingredients. We’re excited to share that the food company—and Network for Good partner—is embarking on its annual Gardens of Goodness program, connecting kids to real food.
As the name hints, this philanthropic campaign provides schools with the funds to build and revitalize gardens. Since 2008, the program has funded over 200 projects, giving 80,000 children the experience of growing their own food.
We had a chance to learn more about the motivations and tactics behind this year’s (ongoing!) campaign from Lauren Schiller, Annie’s Gardens of Goodness Lead. Check out our conversation below and be sure to get involved!
KO: How does the Gardens of Goodness program fit within Annie’s Homegrown corporate social responsibility priorities?
LS: Social responsibility is one of Annie’s’ core values. For more than 20 years, Annie's has been nourishing families with simple, down-to-earth foods that taste great and are easy to love.
On Veteran's Day, we are reminded that showing appreciation is welcome. Employees and customers, too, appreciate a heartfelt thank you. Giving thanks is especially welcome during holiday season.
However, when December hits, many get swept up in the general chaos of ending one year and beginning another. As we mentioned before, November is an ideal time to roll out your cause program and get employees and customers excited about unleashing generosity at year-end.
If you reach your audience in November, you’ll have a better chance of securing their attention and participation and feed off their enthusiasm for Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday season.
Create a Gratitude Campaign
We frequently talk about how employees and consumers alike want companies to support cause. Less frequently do we mention that their desire increases during the holiday season.
Don’t just trust me—look at the research! According to Cone, Inc.:
- 81% of employees want to get involved in their company’s cause-related efforts through giving and matching grant campaigns.
- 73% of employees wish their company would do more to support causes.
- 89% of consumers want companies to support causes at the holidays.
- 78% of consumers want to be personally engaged in these efforts.
Why are we telling you this now? Because November is an ideal time to roll out your cause program and get employees and customers excited about unleashing generosity at year-end.
Once December hits, many people are focused on deadlines, family holiday planning, and the general chaos of ending one year and beginning another. If you reach your audience in November, you’ll have a better chance of securing their attention and participation and feed off their enthusiasm for Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday season.
Here’s an idea that’s guaranteed to wow your audience:
Spark a Matching Grant Contest
We’re pleased to announce we’ll be participating again in #GivingTuesday™, a campaign to create a national day of giving to the lineup of national shopping days Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.
#GivingTuesday occurs on December 3, 2013 this year and is an opportunity for companies, nonprofits, and individuals alike to get involved for the greater good.
How is your company celebrating #GivingTuesday? We have a few ideas to get you started.
- Host a giving day for featured causes. To celebrate #GivingTuesday, Network for Good has pledged to help companies that want to host a giving campaign for one or a handful of featured charities. With a commitment of matching funds or marketing, your company can invite employees and customers to support nonprofit partners through a complimentary branded giving page*. Your company will be able to track impact in real time and join other brands encouraging charitable activities on this national day of giving.
This post is a part of a frequently-asked-questions series on Network for Good. We thought this would be a good time to orient you on who we are, what we do, and how we can help your company. These are the most commonly asked questions we encounter. If you have any questions of your own, email us!
Many of our FAQs center around pricing. We strive to provide the best-of-breed products and services. With that, we are transparent about how much it all costs. Keep in mind, though, that depending on your company's needs, these prices may change.
How much does your technology cost?
It depends! Our licensed solutions start at approximately $15,000 and the fees are commensurate with the level of customization or partnership support.
Human Resources: If your company is looking to engage in a small rewards and loyalty campaign, a Good Card program; you choose the amount based the quantity and Good Card value. We provide customized Good Cards starting at $5,000+.
Cause Marketers: Our branded giving page costs start at $15,000. This is a quick way to engage your consumers in your brand’s one-off or holiday giving initiative.
Developers: If you’re a developer wanting to integrate with one of our APIs (application programming interface), donation processing and disbursement technology starts at $15,000. If you want access to all of our APIs, full partnership and account management, standard fees start at $25,000.