The time was May of 2003. Ten years ago, I founded For Momentum. My, how time flies when you are having fun! In this blog post, I want to reflect about the changes in the industry over the past 10 years and what it has meant for us all as cause practitioners.
In 2003, annual Cause Marketing spend was estimated by IEG to be $922 million. A few of the hottest cause marketing campaigns were launched by Tums and IKEA. The “TUMS Helps Put Out More Fires Than You Think” campaign, pledged to donate 10 cents to the First Responder Institute for every bottle of TUMS sold. In addition to donating $238,000 to the Institute, which in turn funded 60 fire departments throughout the United States, TUMS saw a 30% increase in the number of displays shipped to stores and a 16% increase in sales volume. Also in 2003, IKEA partnered with UNICEF to benefit children in Angola and Uganda. The promotion was called “A Bear that Gives,” and IKEA agreed to donate $2.00 from every sale of their BRUM teddy bears to UNICEF’s “Children’s Right to Play” program. Between 2003 and 2005 it raised $2.2 million to educate street children in Angola and displaced children in Uganda, as well as placing 38,000 Ugandan children in daycare centers. Since 2003, IKEA’s annual “Soft Toys for Education” cause-related marketing campaign has generated more than $30 million to support UNICEF’s education programs around the world.
To shed more perspective on the cause partnership landscape back in 2003, eBay launched Giving Works. The then-groundbreaking program allowed eBay users to donate money to any cause of their choice. Facebook did not yet exist. And the now-famous St. Jude Thanks and Giving, Dove Campaign for Real Beauty and Product (Red) campaigns were just a glimmer in our eyes. The primary industry terms were cause marketing and cause branding. There were one, maybe two “go to” text books for cause marketers and the Cause Marketing Forum had just convened for the first time.
Fast forward 10 years to May 2013. IEG projects 2013 Cause Marketing spend will be $1.78 BILLION – a nearly 200% increase. Dozens of cause campaigns raise millions for their beneficiaries. Nonprofits adoption of social media/web 2.0 is in full stride. Causes, Facebook’s premier cause-related app, has logged over 1 billion actions by 153 million people. Studies show that when utilized to support fundraising events, Twitter can result in 10x more money raised online. Social media darling Pinterest is coming into its own and a large number of crowdfunding platforms are revolutionizing hyperlocal fundraising. Terms in our industry have expanded and merged to include corporate social responsibility, social impact, social good and more. Numerous resources exist for cause marketers including books, blogs, webinars, podcasts, Twitter/Facebook/Pinterest feeds, YouTube videos and more.
Many important factors have changed in the cause landscape in 10 years. Corporate attitudes about strategic corporate partnership have moved from the “nice to have” category to the “must have” imperative. Forbes research reports that 93% of the global executives surveyed believe their company can “create economic value by creating societal value.” Nonprofits have been forced to diversify revenue and embrace strategic partnership as an integral part of the fund raising mix. Some savvy nonprofits are even expanding beyond traditional cause funding streams into social enterprise. Consumer interest in cause continues to grow. And with Millennials’ strong interest in social good, the future looks brighter and brighter. Download a convenient, organized compilation of the latest cause marketing research statistics.
And, now if you’ll indulge me, I just want to share what the past decade has meant for For Momentum. Since 2003, we’ve helped over 60 clients with projects ranging from setting strategy to valuing campaign ROI. We’ve fostered more than 75 partnerships, raised tens of millions for our nonprofit clients and directed millions in support for our corporate clients. We’ve led 20+ partner summits and taught more than 50 cause marketing workshops, helping to expand cause knowledge in the marketplace. Here is a sampling of our client testimonials.
Our top ranked cause marketing blog, “Cause Marketing FOCUS” has an ever-growing audience of readers. Our Twitter handle is recommended by industry experts for quality cause marketing and social good content. Sign up here for FREE to receive our popular monthly e-newsletter of practical tips, ideas and resources to support your strategic cause partnership goals. We were early to launch an industry presence on Pinterest atPinterest.com/CauseMarketing and would also love to connect with you on Facebook and LinkedIn.
We started as a one woman shop and have grown to achieve the #5 ranking by Corporate Responsibility Magazine of top firms providing cause marketing solutions – ranked among the most well-known communications agencies (full report and list).
I want to acknowledge and express my gratitude to my amazing team members that, over the years, have helped me shape For Momentum into who we are today. Michele Egan Sterne, Tamara McClelland, Trisha Stezzi, Kelly Gifford, Kim Nobel, Vesatee Turk, Rosie Mankes, Lucy McDonald, Kelly Deen, Charmaine Jackson, Shannon Mescher, Amanda Nicewander, and Kim Sammons. And, I want to thank our amazing clients for believing in our ability to support them.
Here’s to the next decade growing even stronger and making a difference for so many deserving causes.
President and Founder, For Momentum LLC