May 11th is the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) 21st annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. In 2012, 175,000 letter carriers collected food donations from 10,000 communities and delivered them to local food banks to help feed millions of Americans in need. Last year was the 9th consecutive year that people donated more than 70 million pounds of food, bringing the grand total over two decades of collections to 1.2 billion pounds.
Many partnerships make this work possible and help it to continue to grow.
- Long time supporter Campbell Soup Company is kicking this year’s drive off with a pledge to donate one million pounds of food. They have also donated 75 million postcards to mail to postal customers to remind them of the drive.
- Valpak Direct Marketing Systems, featured the event on 39 million Valpak envelopes distributed across the United States as a donation to support the cause. Valpak is featuring the “What’s important to you” campaign on Facebook and will donate 25 cents for each new Facebook “like” at www.facebook.com/valpak, up to $10,000 to Feeding America, and a chance for Facebook “friends” to win $2,500 to support a project or cause important to them in their communities. In addition to the in-kind donation worth more than $1 million, Valpak franchisees across the nation will support the cause by holding food drives at their offices and at participating advertisers’ stores.
- AARP Drive To End Hunger is providing 15 million bags.
- Additional sponsors include: Publix, AFL-CIO, GLS Companies, Source Direct plastics, Valassis/Red Plum and Uncle Bobs Self Storage
- Family Circus cartoonist Jeff Keane has provided special promotional food drive artwork featuring the familiar characters of Billy, Dolly, Jeffy and P.J. helping to carry a sack of food out to the mailbox by the curb.
- Back this year as the drive’s national celebrity spokesperson is musician Nick Cannon, host of TV’s “America’s Got Talent.” Cannon appears in a special food drive public service announcement made available to TV and radio stations to help promote the food drive.
- Nonprofit partners include Feeding America and United Way Worldwide.
- 1,400 local NALC branches, rural letter carriers and other postal employees, plus members of other unions and civic volunteers.
The Stamp Out Hunger Facebook Page has 83,871 Likes. It’s Twitter handle has 4,383 Followers…not too shabby, but perhaps future partnerships can create even more engagement online. That said, the campaign’s partnership with ‘rather popular’ (4,288,350 Twitter Followers!!!) Nick Cannon is certainly getting the word out!
Next time you saunter up to YOUR mailbox, I hope this blog post triggers you to take a moment to think about how your for-profit company might be able to leverage its core competencies for the greater good through nonprofit partnership, as the NALC has leveraged its delivery infrastructure to help alleviate hunger. Embedding community support efforts into the actual work your company does is a great way to rally employees and to show the public your authentic commitment to corporate responsibility.
Or, if you are a nonprofit organization, think about which companies have the valuable resources (not just financial) that could help you deliver on your mission. Look for “strategic partners,” not just “funders.” Partnerships built around solid fundamentals have great potential for longevity and large scale impact. [Learn more about innovative ways to scale impact in my recent blog post.]
Once you identify a short list of ideal partners and begin to formulate strategies, THEN, by all means, feel free to flip through that stack of J. Crew and Pottery Barn catalogs you just received in your mail box GUILT-FREE!