Family First Moments

Campaign: Family First Moments
Company: Wendy's
Nonprofit Partner: Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA)
Launch Date: 9/14/2015


Wendy’s is celebrating "family first" moments this fall by featuring illustrations from four children who were adopted on Wendy's beverage cups in support of its second nationwide Halloween Coupon Books in-restaurant fundraising initiative. From September 14 through November 1, Wendy's will be selling Halloween Coupon Books, which include five or 10 free Jr. Frosty coupons, for $1 with $.86 donated to DTFA. Last year, the Halloween Coupon Book program raised $3.6 million.

Our Take:

Wendy's has taken its point of sale fundraising efforts seriously, successfully leaning on the Frosty as a key consumer incentive. In a recent CMF webinar, we learned from Wendy's and DTFA the importance of having a tangible item as a visual reminder for their cause efforts. These cups are the latest evidence of that strategy, providing not only a physical campaign reminder, but also a touching, individual story to travel with the consumer. An effective blend of storytelling, awareness and engagement.

Doritos Rainbows Chips

Campaign: Doritos Rainbows
Company: Frito Lay's Doritos Brand
Nonprofit Partner: It Gets Better Project
Launch Date: September 17, 2015


This week Doritos released new, limited-edition rainbow-colored chips to celebrate and support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in “the boldest, most colorful way possible” in partnership with the It Gets Better Project. Doritos Rainbows were available by mail after a minimum donation of $10 to the It Gets Better Project and promptly sold out within 24 hours. The Doritos brand will sponsor the Dallas Pride event on September 20 where the Doritos Rainbows chips will also be available to people who pledge their support to the cause.

Our Take:

There is so much to admire about this #BoldandBetter campaign from Doritos. Taking an iconic snack food like Doritos and dramatically changing both product and packaging displayed a strong show of support for the LGBT community and commanded instant consumer attention. While not a tactic commonly employed, requiring a minimum $10 donation to its nonprofit partner on a limited edition product was a winning combination, again showing strong support for the cause. All around, an engaging, creative effort from Doritos and the It Gets Better Project that earned attention, buzz and action.

Target Moves Its CSR Bullseye to Health and Wellness

On August 31, Target proudly announced it had reached its 5-year goal to donate $1 billion to education by 2015. Two weeks later, the retailer started putting schools on notice that an initiative that comprised over 40% of that charitable total would be eliminated. The ‘Take Charge of Education’ program designates 1% of Redcard holders’ purchases to a school of their choice and donated over $432 million to more than 100,000 U.S. public schools since the program’s inception in 1997.

Laysha Ward, Target’s chief corporate social responsibility officer, told the StarTribune that they will shift the company’s social responsibility focus from education to health and wellness. According to Ward, only 10% of Redcard holders were enrolled in the program and many did not remember if they had designated a school. Citing results from consumer surveys as a rationale for the massive shift, Ward shared that consumers now list health as their primary concern.

Ward said ’Take Charge of Education’ will end in May of 2016 and Target will be testing new campaigns this fall. It's likely that the new efforts will take a ‘buy-one, give-one’ format similar to the retailer's back-to-school campaign last year with BOGO-company Yoobi.

Target will focus on three components of wellness including healthy eating, active living and cleaner labels and will also make changes to its products to offer more natural and healthful options.

Target faces stiff competition in the wellness/cause space, most notably from CVS and Walgreens and their well-established focus on healthy living. Is there room for one more? Only time, communications and consumer engagement will tell.

What do you think of this major shift from Target? Weigh in with your comments below!

Boys & Girls Clubs of America Leverages Corporate Partners in New Alumni Engagement Initiative

Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) launched a new Alumni & Friends Club today to engage its estimated 16 million alumni as “advocates and ambassadors” for current Club Kids. Alongside celebrities such as Shaquille O’Neal and Jennifer Lopez, a major activation strategy in the effort is the organization’s impressive list of corporate supporters. Over 50 partners will activate both internal and external recruitment campaigns led by president and CEO of Dr Pepper Snapple Group Larry Young and his wife Colette, official co-chairs of the initiative. 

According to Chad Royal-Pascoe, National Vice President, Corporate & Cause Partnerships for BGCA, corporate partners’ external activations encouraging customers to become part of the ‘Club’ will be spread throughout the year and typically linked to their cause marketing campaigns. “This campaign is about building up a set of passionate advocates. These are the people who we’ll reach out to when we have a corporate cause marketing campaign because they understand firsthand how important it is to support the kids and these programs,” said Royal-Pascoe. "Fifty-four percent of our Alumni say that their Club saved their lives."

Initial Alumni & Friends Club memberships are free and a “perks” membership is being sold for $50.00, providing $4,500 in discounts on items such as tires, movie tickets and pizza. Several corporate partners are offering expanded discounts as part of the program and Royal-Pascoe anticipates more joining in the future.

Activating their enormous alumni community via this national campaign makes perfect sense for BGCA. Leaning on corporate partners to pave the way ensures not only their partners' understanding of the potential power of this community but their continued interest and investment.

Why Content Marketing Matters to Cause Marketers — And How to Get Started

By Peter Panepento

Five years ago, content marketing was an unfamiliar phrase inside the offices of the charity Share Our Strength.

Today, it is central to how it delivers on its mission.

During that time, Share Our Strength has developed a comprehensive library of videos, written stories, white papers, and other materials that spotlight its work and raise awareness about the issue of childhood hunger in America. This content is embedded into all of its communications and is shared with a number of outside partners who help the charity reach its intended audience.

All of these materials have helped Share Our Strength reach millions with its story and attract new supporters.

For charities that are looking to beef up their content marketing efforts, Share Our Strength offers an excellent model. It has invested in creating useful, relevant content about its work and mission and has built an array of partnerships that help deliver that content to its key audiences

Its content-marketing program has also helped the charity gain support among companies that support its work through cause marketing efforts, says Clay Dunn, Share Our Strength’s interim chief communications and brand officer.

“Companies are now less concerned about the return on our investment,” Dunn said during the Cause Marketing Forum’s annual conference in Chicago. “They are seeing so much impact in the stories that we’re telling and sharing.”

No Kid Hungry in the Summer
Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry in the Summer campaign — which it launched in 2013 in partnership with the Arby’s Foundation — showcases the power of effective content marketing.

The campaign aims to put a spotlight on the charity’s mission —ending childhood hunger in America — by focusing on the fact that summer is the hungriest time of the year for many children because they don’t have access to school breakfast and lunch programs that help them during the school year.

To do that, the charity has worked with Arby’s to create an array of marketing efforts that aim to inspire people to take action — whether it’s through donating money or food, advocating for Congress to create a summer meals program, or through volunteering.

“We went through all of the communications channels that we had and tried to decide what content would work best for each of those channels — and then build in ways for people to engage,” Dunn says. “We found that one singular call to action over a campaign doesn’t really work. It’s important to have a mix of things that people can do.”

For low-income families that are struggling to afford food, it created a text-messaging service that allows them to quickly find the closest meal site.

It developed a social-media campaign around the hashtag #savesummer — and provided the public and its corporate partners with an array of sample social media messages that they could use to help spread the word about the problem of summer hunger.

It launched a fundraising campaign — spurred by a matching donation by Arby’s. Arby’s also invested in a tour in which it visited summer meals sites around the country to raise awareness about the issue and distributed information and materials. It also piloted a program in which it provided information about the availability of summer meals in Arby’s stores.

All of these efforts were built around telling interesting stories about the people who are most affected by the issue of hunger and those who are working to tackle the problem.

One such story — a 3-minute video it created to spotlight a Detroit woman who turned her backyard into a summer meals site for children in her neighborhood — drew so much attention that The Today Show ended up profiling the woman.

Getting Started
Dunn says Share Our Strength’s content marketing efforts have helped the charity become more valuable its corporate partners — many of whom are looking for ways to tell the story of their good works. By creating its own content library, Share Our Strength gives its partners the opportunity to use that content in their own communications — and it helps the charity reach a wider audience.

Dunn offers the following advice to groups that are looking to follow a similar path:

Make the case for content
Compelling written stories, videos, and infographics don’t just appear — they require an investment. And in organizations where resources are tight, it might not be easy to invest in content marketing without first being able to show that the investment will yield results.

Share Our Strength cleared this hurdle by securing outside support, Dunn says. The organization included plans to develop some basic content assets as part of a grant proposal it submitted to the Wal-Mart Foundation. This grant support helped get the seed money that was necessary to get started.

Build a basic library
Many organizations try to employ content marketing strategies without first having valuable, relevant content to share.

Before Share Our Strength focused on distribution, it concentrated on building what Dunn calls a library of “foundational stories.” For example, it developed a library of short videos about the organization and the people it helps and worked to make sure all of its stories laddered up to its overall message.

Once it had enough original content, it had the raw materials it needed to carry out efforts like its summer campaign.

Meet the audience where they are
Once you have the right content, you can focus on finding ways to reach your target audience.

In the past, nonprofits had to rely on the kindness of others to get public service announcements aired on radio or TV stations, or they had to pitch traditional media for coverage. Today, organizations can employ a number of different channels and techniques — from traditional broadcast and media channels, to social networks, online communications, e-mail marketing, and content partnerships.

The most successful content marketing efforts are strategic about which channels they employ. They know which audiences they most want to reach, and tailor their marketing efforts to reach those audiences.

Make it sharable
Share Our Strength’s content marketing effort is successful, in part, because Dunn says that the organization is willing to let others frame its message in their own voices. Rather than simply producing canned content, Share Our Strength works with its partners to give them the opportunity to use its stories on their terms.

To do that, it offers many of its partners the opportunities to use its raw video assets in their own videos.

This is especially valuable for its cause-marketing partnerships, since its corporate partners are able to incorporate Share Our Strength’s story into their own communications and marketing efforts.