More than 140 characters are needed to share key info and insights from the 2011 Cause Marketing Forum Conference! To that point, here is an expanded version of Mollye Rhea’s @ForMomentum #CMF11 tweets. Stay tuned for similar summary posts from Michele, Kim S. and Amanda!
@ForMomentum #CMF11 Tweets by Mollye Rhea (^MR)
#CMF11 insights from @EdChansky on #causemarketing UBIT regs are acknowledgment vs. Adv. & active vs passive. @formomentum ^MR
I find many of the regulations associated with cause marketing to be a bit fuzzy. While the clearest regulations are associated with commercial co-venture, the fuzziness (it is a word, I checked!) comes in with trying to determine which states require what paperwork.
What I love about Ed Chansky is that he helps narrow the legal discussion to the practical implications. Last week, I tweeted briefly about his take on UBIT. Here are a few more words about his advice. WARNING: I am NOT a lawyer. I am sharing my interpretation of Ed’s remarks. These are observations and are not intended to imply legal advice!!!
Advertising is subject to UBIT and Acknowledgement is not. While there is no fixed definition, Ed suggests that a message constitutes advertising if it features comparative/qualitative info or contains price/value statements. And, a message is considered advertising if it endorses a product or offers an inducement to purchase. So, what can you safely say? Ed share this example. “NONPROFIT says thank you to CORPORATION for their support. To learn more, visit CORPORATE (link to their website/promotional information.”
To contact Ed for more sage advice, email firstname.lastname@example.org. And, here is a handy link to his bio and full contact info.
Thanks for your leadership @TweetCMF The Cause Marketing Code of Conduct will help advance our trade! #cmf11 #causemarketing ^MR
At this year’s CMF Conference, David Hessekiel opened a discussion on the feasibility, viability and practicality of introducing a Cause Marketing Code of Conduct or CMCC In keeping with CMF’s brand personality and tone, David’s initial thoughts on the CMCC are to take a thoughtful, collaborative approach versus an authoritarian, litigious one. He welcomes input from all interested parties, corporate, nonprofit and vendor alike. So, in that spirit, here are a few thoughts I’d like to add to the conversation.
BENEFITS OF PROACTIVE ACTION:
If you are like me, and were an active cause practitioner back in 1999, you are sure to recall the hullabaloo associated with the “WHAT’S IN A NONPROFIT’S NAME” document issued by several state Attorney Generals. Details are provided on this webpage. This report was positioned as “A Preliminary Multistate Report on Corporate-Commercial/Nonprofit Product Marketing Advertising of Commercial Products” but raised the threat that firm guidelines could follow. Many nonprofits testified regarding their thoughts on the guidelines. I was particularly impressed with the approach taken by the National Health Council. They proactively posted recommendations for their members. You can read more about their recommendations here. Specific recommendations begin on page 13. To date, the 1999 paper still stands as guidelines, rather than regulations, but I think this raises the thought that proactively action may be beneficial.
BENEFITS OF CONSISTENCY:
One of the many challenges of cause partnership from the nonprofit’s perspective is the process for gaining internal stakeholder approval of activities and promotion. I believe the CMCC could help provide consistent promotional approaches rather than having to review each concept on a case by case basis. Internal approval of one consistent approach would lend efficiency to the process of review and approval. In additional to a more efficient review process, the consistency could also generate cost savings for Nonprofits in the areas of legal fees, standards development and management of Corporate requests.
SCOPE OF CMCC:
Currently most guidelines associated with cause activities focus on Commercial Coventure. I’d like to add additional industry-wide topics to the discussion of the Code of Conduct. Some ideas that come to mind include guidelines on the NP’s promotional practices related to UBIT and the “acknowledgement vs. advertising” scenario. Guidelines could also be helpful for guiding participation in voting contests, such as requiring that the voting system cannot be “hacked” or manipulated with auto-voting programming. I believe there are more issues too, but these two illustrate the need to consider a variety of elements, beyond CCV, in the CMCC development. Stay tuned for more on the CMCC from Cause Marketing Forum, and in the meanwhile, send CMF any feedback or ideas that you may have to add to the scope. I’m sure David would appreciate it!
Congrats @onewarmcoat on winning @AOL ‘s daily impact support. Good luck w/ur goal to collect 300k coats! #CMF11 ^MR
I’m so happy for One Warm Coat’s most recent accomplishment in winning the AOL Daily Impact support. Several years ago when One Warm Coat was first considering the feasibility of pursuing cause strategies to advance their mission, For Momentum acted as their agency in helping them to create efficient, turn-key cause strategies. In quick time, partnerships were secured with Gortex, Burlington Coat Factory, the Weather Channel and other marquee names in the corporate arena. With a total operating budget of well under $50,000/year and a fully volunteer-driven staffing model, One Warm Coat is the consummate example of a nonprofit that is capitalizing on cause as an efficient and effective way to advance their mission. Way to go One Warm Coat!! You are setting an inspirational example for all of us in the field.
Agree with Nancy Lubin – qualified cause agencies have more than passion – check for real experience and references!! ^MR
I believe anyone who attended the Cause Marketing Forum in Chicago last week would agree – Nancy Lublin’s presentation was a real highlight! Her frank observations coupled with her obvious deep experience and understanding of the cause alliances landscape was both refreshing and inspiring. Those factors, coupled with her spot-on humor in delivery, made her presentation thoroughly entertaining as well as informative and thought provoking.
Among her many astute observations, Nancy urged the attendees to realize that our profession, cause alliances, needs more than passionate participants. We need professional understanding, expertise and well-rounded knowledge to truly advance our practice. In particular, Nancy commented that nonprofits need to carefully select their agency partners and need to insure these agencies are capable of providing full cause-specific expertise and support. While her comments may have stung a bit to some of the many agency practitioner attendees, I think we can all agree that she is right! Providing the right cause support necessitates a deep understanding of the wide variety of key issues that influence developing and launching a successful cause program. One great PR idea or experience with one past cause program does not make one an expert in the cause practice. Admittedly, I may be biased on this point. I founded For Momentum over 8 years ago having spent nearly 20 years in the cause arena. I require all For Momentum team members to have deep experience in both the nonprofit and corporate marketing cultures. To date, we have played a key role in the development and implementation of more than 50 cause partnerships. I believe these factors make us a well-qualified resource to our clients – both nonprofit and corporate. I would advocate Nancy’s position and add my urging that players in cause need to vet their prospective agency’s experience base and resources carefully when selecting their agency!