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3 Reasons for Tangible Cause Marketing

Tue, 2014-04-15 00:00

By Allison McGuire | @CaliMcG


As many of you know, the key to cause marketing is appealing to your consumers’ emotions. Below is an adapted excerpt from our guide, The Brainiac’s Guide to Cause Marketing, by Katya Andresen. In this guide, Katya explains why people act when cause marketing campaigns are personal. Check it out!


P&G 1=1A few years ago, Proctor & Gamble launched a cause-related marketing campaign in South Africa called “1 Pack = 1 Vaccine.”


For every pack of diapers sold, a child was vaccinated against tetanus. It was wildly successful, boosting Pampers sales and resulting in 150 million vaccines.


A rival campaign didn’t fare as well. Its slogan was less tangible, not to mention wordy: “1 pack will help eradicate newborn tetanus globally.” Meh.


Unfortunately, as this example from researchers Cynthia Cryder and George Loewenstein illustrates all too well, marketers often talk about causes in intangible terms, and that doesn’t work very well. The vast majority of good causes have messaging closer to the failed campaign. And that’s a very tangible problem.


Why do marketers need to get as tangible as the “1 Pack = 1 Vaccine” message?


Keep reading...

Enabling Social Employee Engagement

Wed, 2014-04-09 00:00

By Allison McGuire | @CaliMcG


The human resources world is always on the lookout for creative ways to engage, recruit, and retain employees. Below is an adapted excerpt from our guide, Employee Engagement: 5 Trends Shaping Employee Social Impact Programs, by Kate Olsen. In this guide, Kate unpacks ideas emerging from different sectors, all with the same theme: creative ways to activate your workforce with cause. Check it out!


Employee engagement and social sharing go together like peanut butter and jelly. It’s easy to recruit employees that are already active in the community to join your company’s cause programs. But how do you get the next wave of employees to sign up? And the next? That’s when social proof and storytelling come into play.


Engaging Employees Socially The best ambassadors for your cause portfolio are the employees actively engaged in your programs. Equip those employees to tell their personal story about why they care, how they help, and what it means to be able to do it alongside other employees. When others hear the passion and see the powerful impact results, they will be clamoring to be a part of your company’s do-gooding efforts.


Storytelling can take many forms. Here are a few suggestions to help your employees share the call to action to get involved and make a difference:


Keep reading...

Why We Relate to Sea Monkeys

Wed, 2014-04-02 00:00

By Allison McGuire | @CaliMcG


As many of you know, the key to cause marketing is appealing to your consumers’ emotions. Below is an adapted excerpt from our guide, The Brainiac’s Guide to Cause Marketing, by Katya Andresen. In this guide, Katya explains why people act when cause marketing campaigns are personal. Check it out!



The closer we feel to a cause—and the closer we believe a company is to a cause—the more likely we are to act.


When it comes to problems, the bigger the numbers, the smaller our concern. The more who die, the less we care. And one girl in need matters more than millions.


Humans’ inability to act in the face of massive numbers, according to researcher Paul Slovic, is a phenomenon called “physic numbing.” But the issue isn’t just an inability to handle a large scale. Once you get past one person—or animal, for that matter—empathy declines.


Sea MonkeysA researcher into this phenomenon was inspired to study this effect further when his daughter’s classroom had an aquarium filled with sea monkeys (which are actually just brine shrimp).


The researcher noted that the sea monkeys kept dying off until only one little sea monkey was left. No one seemed to care until there was only the one sea monkey left floating. The children, who had viewed the crowded tank as an undifferentiated mass, became hugely devoted to the last sea monkey. They described its personality and cared deeply about its survival, though its brethren’s deaths had barely raised an eyebrow.


Keep reading...

Employee Engagement Gone Mobile

Tue, 2014-03-25 00:00

By Allison McGuire | @CaliMcG


As many of you know, employee engagement is an ever-evolving trend. Below is an adapted excerpt from our guide, Employee Engagement: 5 Trends Shaping Employee Social Impact Programs, by Kate Olsen. In this guide, Kate unpacks ideas emerging from different sectors, all with the same theme: creative ways to activate your workforce. Check it out!


Employee Engagement Trend: Mobile Access


Mobile engagement is keyAmy Chait, Head of Market Development for YourCause, asserts that employee engagement is going mobile. Employees are hungry for ways to opt-in to volunteer programs, make donations, and monitor personal impact via their smart phones. This is particularly true for companies with a large portion of the workforce consistently on the road.


As Amy notes, “Our clients continually talk about how their employees are out in the field and not in front of a computer most of the time, therefore mobile access will help support participation for all types of workforce roles.” Just as individuals can manage their social networks, calendars and email via phone, so too do they want to be able to manage everything else on the go.


Keep reading...

Inspired to Make an Impact

Tue, 2014-03-18 00:00

By Allison McGuire | @CaliMcG


Here at Network for Good, we’ve been lucky enough to interact with hundreds of professionals working in corporate social responsibility. Many times we get details on what drives them to make a difference.


Below you’ll find just a few of the many responses we’ve gotten to the question: Where do you draw inspiration for your social impact work?


Audrey Robertson - Container StoreAudrey Robertson, VP of cultural programs, community relations, and social media at The Container Store, says:

From a company standpoint, because the company is my life, [what inspires me is] supporting our customers.


We understand what’s important to our customers – [the base is] mostly female – they want to support women, so we work with nonprofit partners that do just that. Once we partner with a nonprofit, it’s often a very long-term, enduring relationship. 


Keep reading...

#FF Feature: Why State Farm Invests in Its Communities

Fri, 2014-03-14 00:00

By Allison McGuire | @CaliMcG


State Farm - Neighborhood Assist - Tool LibraryState Farm’s annual Neighborhood Assist program is a Facebook app that crowdsources the insurance company’s corporate philanthropy. Through individual votes for neighborhoods across North America, State Farm’s social community helps determine which 40 areas receive a $25,000 neighborhood-improvement grant.


After accepting over 3,000 online submissions, the State Farm Youth Advisory Board narrows the pool to 200 finalists, then opens up the voting process to determine which causes get grants.


We’re excited to feature State Farm’s 2014 program via our interview with Kellie Clapper, State Farm Enterprise Philanthropy AVP.


AM: What’s different about this year’s Neighborhood Assist?

KC: We are looking forward to another successful year of Neighborhood Assist. To kick off the program this year, we created short videos, profiling some of last year’s inspirational winners. One shows Kelsy Laird, a volunteer who helped disabled kids experience waterskiing for the first time. Another shows Matt LaLonde who brought his community together with home improvement and gardening tools at no cost. These videos showcased just some of the many great organizations and thousands of worthy people State Farm has touched through Neighborhood Assist. We hope they inspire other organizations to submit their causes as well. 


Keep reading...

Datalogix Cultivates a Winning Work Culture

Mon, 2014-03-10 00:00

By Allison McGuire | @CaliMcG


Datalogix Network for Good Case Study on Good CardsWe're excited to announce the release of our newest Good Card case study! Datalogix, a company that provides marketing infrastructure for the data driven era by connecting digital advertising to offline sales, uses Network for Good's, Good Card® to incentivize employee referrals.


As part of this referral program, Datalogix’s human resources team sought to create a rewards program that reflected its culture of giving. The addition of the referral program, enables employees to receive a $1,000 Good Cardwhen a referral joins the Datalogix team.


Key case study findings include: 


 → Employees are motivated to shape the Datalogix work culture.

The addition of the Good Card to the existing referral program gives employees great incentive to refer top talent. This allows employees to not only contribute to the Datalogix team and culture, but to their community as well.


Employees contribute to charities of all shapes and sizes.

With 1.4 million charities to choose from, it’s not just large nonprofits that receive donations—local nonprofits and niche causes also receive much-needed support. Employees are excited to receive Good Cards and spend the funds to support their favorite cause.


Read the full Datalogix Good Card case study here.


If you're interested in learning how to use these charity cards to boost your employee engagement portfolio, email us!


Employee Appreciation Day

Fri, 2014-03-07 01:00

By Allison McGuire | @CaliMcG


Did you get the memo? Today’s Employee Appreciation Day! Not that you shouldn’t be doing this every day, but today is a special day to show them you care.


Here are a few ways companies show gratitude on a continual basis:

Keep reading...

SXSW: Panels to Attend, People to Meet

Wed, 2014-03-05 01:00

By Allison McGuire | @CaliMcG



Going to SXSW Interactive? We are, and we want to meet you!


Events we’re looking forward to:

  • Doing Good & Making Money. If you’re reading this blog, you’re likely interested in the intersection of business and cause. This panel will explore how companies can do business that helps nonprofits. Our partner WebThriftStore will explain how charities can use its platform to run an online thrift store with no financial risk. Learn how doing good can be profitable. Hashtag to follow: #shop4good


Keep reading...

Myriad Ways to Show Employees Your Love

Tue, 2014-02-25 01:00

By Allison McGuire | @CaliMcG


Did you know showing recognition is one of the three top factors to measure engaged your workforce is? Did you know employee engagement is a virtuous cycle?


It looks like this:

employee feels valued-->engagement level increases-->productivity grows-->motivation rises


Quantum Workplace's 40 Ways to Show Employees Your LoveIn preparation for next week’s Employee Appreciation Day (March 7), we’re excited to share our friends at Quantum Workplace have released a comprehensive—and fun!—guide to think creatively about engaging your employees.


Below is a curated selection of their ideas. Definitely download the highly-skimmable whitepaper for the whole list.


40 Ways to Show Love to Your Employees


#1) Happy Anniversary!

Nothing says, “You’re appreciated!” like celebrating the day each employee joined your workforce. Big company? Modify your celebrations.

  • Delegate party planning to team leaders and let each department honor employees with their own celebrations.
  • Set aside one day each year to celebrate. (Save the Date: National Employee Appreciation Day is March 7!)

Keep reading...

Millennials: Rejecting Business as Usual

Tue, 2014-02-18 01:00

By Allison McGuire | @CaliMcG


We’re pleased to share our newest guide sponsored by Quantum WorkplaceEngaging Millennial Employees: Recruit and Retain Top Talent with Cause. Here’s an excerpt:


Quantum Workplace Millennial employee quoteGeneration Y has been imbued with a sense of responsibility. Millennials feel responsible for themselves, their neighbors (both virtual and physical), their communities, and their planet. They grew up learning the importance of recycling and using less water, and that their actions directly affect their communities. In return, they believe that companies—their employers—have a responsibility to them, their society, and the world.


Although they acknowledge the bottom line, they also believe that companies need to give back some of what they’ve earned to contribute to the greater good. They see smart ways for companies to do this, too, such as transparency in reporting, sustainable business practices, and using company products and services for good. According to Jay Gilbert in the Ivey Business Journal, the single biggest threat to Millennial employee retention is a company’s reputation. Why is this so important?


Keep reading...

What’s Sweeter Than Chocolate?

Fri, 2014-02-14 01:00

By Allison McGuire | @CaliMcG


What makes today so special? No, it’s not the oodles of chocolate (those should be a regular occurrence). It’s Generosity Day!


Box of chocolates Generosity what? The idea of moving Valentine’s Day away from dinner reservations and singles awareness towards a day of generous acts began in 2011 by Sasha Dichter, Scott Case, Ellen McGirt, and Katya Andresen.


The concept is shockingly simple: Today, think about ways to be generous and then…just…be generous.


Stumped on how to start? Try some of these:


  • Write an email to someone you admire, explaining why they inspire you.
  • Hold the door for a large group of people. Smile while doing so.
  • Give the gift of charity to your employees. Pass along the ‘helper’s high’.
  • Call someone you appreciate. See what’s new in their life.
  • Buy coffee for the person behind you in line (even if they order a triple, venti soy mocha).
  • Create a fundraising campaign for your favorite charity. Rally friends and family to join.
  • Use the hashtag #SM4SG (social media for social good) to spread good cheer.
  • Lavish unsolicited praise on an unsuspecting colleague. Post a note on your intranet or pen a LinkedIn recommendation.

I promise to join you today. I’ll start by saying thank you for participating in Network for Good’s online community. Your work and passion inspires me.




Question for discussion: How will you be generous today?



Photo is author's own.

Big News: $1 Billion for Good

Thu, 2014-02-13 01:00

This post is cross-posted from our Nonprofit Marketing Blog.


By Caryn Stein | @caryn74


$1 billion thermometerToday at Network for Good, we’re celebrating a major milestone: $1 billion processed for charity since our founding in 2001. We’re incredibly proud of this big achievement and we are even more honored by what it means. This milestone represents an amazing outpouring of generosity from millions of donors to thousands of nonprofits—and an incredible amount of good being done in this world.


Network for Good was founded to make it as easy to give online as it is to shop online. A lot has changed in the world of digital philanthropy since then, and we’re excited to be at the forefront of this revolution.


Of course, this milestone is about much more than the mechanics of processing online donations. It’s about the hard work of nonprofits and the good they do each and every day, the amazing generosity of donors, and the creative thinking of corporate partners who provide innovative opportunities for generosity.


Thanks to each and every one of you for being part of this journey and we look forward to working with you to continue unleash generosity. Here’s to the next “Billion for Good” and beyond!

Top Posts of 2013

Tue, 2014-02-11 12:01


As an end-of-the-year treat, we're excited to bring you our top 10 blog posts of 2013. As you know, Companies for Good covers the following topics:


We're pleased to share the #10 most popular blog post today, then count down the rest.


                                      Happy holidays from everyone at Network for Good.



#10: Friday5: Social Good Start-up to Watch


Friday5Let’s start with Friday.


"Who doesn’t like Fridays? In fact, who isn’t overly excited for the weekend, feeling a sense of accomplishment by getting through the week? Why not tie this feeling with something good?" Mike Berman pondered these questions from his desk at the tech company, Eventbrite.


To put these questions to the test, Berman left his Silicon-Valley gig, and created a social enterprise where individuals donate a small amount--$5--every Friday to benefit good causes.Friday5 was born**.


The impact is two-fold, says Berman:

1) Funds raised for causes are used out in the field, assigning donations to direct impact.

2) Friday5 gives lesser known causes the exposure they need.


Read on…


Winning with Millennial Employees

Fri, 2014-01-31 01:00

By Allison McGuire | @CaliMcG


Millennial Guide - coverFrequently cited as flaky and narcissistic, Millennial employees actually have multiple positive traits that can act as a boon to your brand. When leveraged correctly, the generation’s affinity with cause and tech savvy directly relate to your company’s recruitment and retention strategies.


We're pleased to share our new eGuide, Engaging Millennial Employees, that explores these techniques and provides you with the tools to recruit and retain top talent.


Here are two ways to win with Millennial employees:


1) Loyalty to Responsible Brands

The reputation of your brand is of utmost importance. study on Millennials and the workplace found that when a company’s reputation suffers, so does employee morale.

In fact, it found that “employer reputation is the most frequent engagement threat.” A reputable brand, however, gives employees bragging rights and increases loyalty. If you want employees to be your ardent supporters, keep up the charitable work.


Recruitment Strategy: Think Like Tory Burch

As the fashion company interviewed potential employees, they realized a funny thing: Interviewees were drawn to the company’s cause work.


“[Our philanthropic work] is attracting amazing talent. When we interview people, one of the first things they bring up is the [Tory Burch] Foundation. They bring it up. We don’t. And that’s really exciting.” – Tory Burch


Try it! Incorporate charity into your company’s hiring posts. Note what giving opportunities exist and why.


Keep reading...

3 Words to Drive Impact Goals in 2014

Wed, 2014-01-08 09:14

By Kate Olsen | @Kate4Good


FF5E4A9920BD2BD69073451B09DA0_h416_w442_m2_q80_cMHFXwuUe.jpgIt’s resolution time.  Chris Brogan sets New Year’s goals around 3 words that “will become part of the way you identify yourself, and thus, a guiding light for your efforts.” 


Here are 3 words to jumpstart your impact goal setting process.  

  1. Curate
  2. Prove
  3. Inspire




The Gap between Proclamations and Actions

Fri, 2014-01-03 01:00

By Allison McGuire | @CaliMcG

While consumers say they prefer brands that give back and support social and environmental causes, sometimes their actions don’t match up to support that idea.


Check out Cone’s terrific chart that denotes the gap between ideals and action:

Cone Communications Social Impact Study 2013 - Proclamations v. Actions

What might surprise you is the highest percentage of actions taken to support values is donating.


Keep reading...

Top 10 Posts: #3: 3 Predictions: Cause Marketing in 2013

Thu, 2014-01-02 09:19

We're pleased to bring you our top 10 blog posts of 2013!


#3: Predictions: Cause Marketing in 2013


2013-predictionsIn 2013, I see 3 distinct trends emerging in cause marketing that reinforce deeper partnerships among brands, charities, and consumers to create lasting value for all partners. 


Marquee Programs

One-off cause marketing programs have their place, but companies are realizing the benefits of investing in a cause marketing platform that evolves year after year.  These marquee programs not only generate more lasting social impact though deeper partnerships with charity partners, but can also create more brand equity through thoughtful and authentic integrated marketing communications. 



The Warner Bros. & DC Entertainment ‘We Can Be Heroes’ campaign (benefitting International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps and Save the Children) is entering its second year and is integrated across digital, mobile, retail, event and other marketing channels.


Top 10 Posts: #1: State Farm Changes the Game with Neighborhood Assist

Tue, 2013-12-31 01:00

Drumroll please--we're pleased to bring you the top blog post of 2013. Have a happy new year!


#1: State Farm Changes the Game with Neighborhood Assist


State Farm is trending. Their new Neighborhood Assist (formerly known as Cause An Effect) Facebook app crowdsources the insurance company’s corporate philanthropy. Through individual votes for neighborhoods all across the U.S. and Canada, State Farm’s social community helps determine which 40 areas receive a $25K neighborhood-improvement grant.

State Farm - Neighborhood Assist kids 

The State Farm Youth Advisory Board accepts 3,000 submissions online, narrows the pool to 200 finalists, then opens the voting process to determine which 40 causes get $25K grants.


We had the opportunity to interview Kellie Clapper, Assistant Vice President at State Farm Insurance, who is behind the campaign, and are pleased to share some key insights.


Network for Good: What is State Farm most proud of from the 2012 Cause An Effect campaign?

Kellie Clapper: We’re so proud of the extent and diversity of the program’s reach.  In 2012, more than 1.2 million votes were cast in three weeks. The $25,000 grants reached 22 states and 40 communities ranging in size from 222 to eight million. Examples of winning causes ranged from helping an animal shelter replace its rescue van to assisting groups that support the homeless and impoverished. It also proved to a team of young people they really could drive change and make a positive impact.



Top 10 Posts: #2: 6 STEPPS to Viral Success for Your Cause

Mon, 2013-12-30 01:00

 We're pleased to bring you our top 10 blog posts of 2013!


#2: 6 STEPPS to Viral Success for Your Cause


Contagious - book coverFellow cause marketers, wouldn’t you like a dollar for every time someone told you to ‘make it go viral?’  The beauty and frustration of virality is that you never know what will catch on.  Context, creativity and conversation all have to align to get tens, hundreds or thousands of people to talk about your idea at the same time. 


We may not be able to make things go viral by sheer force of will, but Jonah Berger has a few ideas about how to engineer messages and campaigns that are more likely to spread.  Below are a few tips from his new book Contagious: Why Things Catch On.    


Jonah outlines six key STEPPS that will transform your cause marketing messages into content that will entertain, inspire and incite people to spread the word.


1. Social Currency: How will talking about your campaign affect the sharer’s status in his/her community?  Will it make the sharer look knowledgeable, in the know, generous?


Example: Packaging your message in a slick piece of media, such as the documentary Girl Rising, makes it easy for people to recommend – they seem intellectual, generous and pop culture savvy.