Is fall your favorite time of year? Mine, too. But not because of the cooler temperatures and changing leaves. I love fall because it’s a great time of year for innovative cause marketing programs.
Maybe it’s because of Pinktober? Or maybe the ghostly influence of Halloween? Or all the energy that’s given to the marketing of the biggest shopping day of the year?
Whatever the reason, where there is greatness there is inspiration and creativity! Here are three ways to add more creativity to your cause marketing.
I’ve been a big fan of the cause marketing programs at A.C. Moore, the arts and crafts chain, for a while. They’ve executed some very successful point-of-sale programs for charities like Autism Speaks. After more than five years of supporting the American Cancer Society (ACS)—and raising nearly a half million dollars to fund research and provide tangible support to individuals facing cancer—A.C. Moore wanted a new program that was both charitable and creative. (Full disclosure: ACS is a For Momentum client).
This month, in addition to a charity checkout program, A.C. Moore is challenging people everywhere to share a photo of themselves in a pink tutu to raise funds for ACS. For each tutu selfie posted on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #Not2Tough2Tutu, the A.C. Moore Foundation will donate one dollar, up to $25,000, to ACS. “As part of our commitment to crafting a better world, #Not2Tough2Tutu combines crafting and charitable giving in a fun and socially engaging way,” said Pepe Piperno, CEO of the retail chain. Pink tutus may not be the right fit for your organization. But creativity is the little black dress that should be in every organization’s closet.
Add Something New
For many years, Chipotle has hosted its Boorito event, which encourages diners to show up in costume on Halloween. In exchange, Chipotle sells them a three-dollar burrito and donates the proceeds to the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, which promotes sustainable farming.
This popular fundraiser has a quirky caveat this year. To drive home the message that simpler is better when it comes to food, Chipotle is asking customers to dress up in costumes with unnecessary elements–like a scuba mask for a skeleton costume or a pirate hat for a dinosaur getup. As this commercial for the Boorito fundraiser points out: “Unnecessary additives are creepy.” But adding something interesting, unique or thoughtful to your cause marketing is not!
Think Outside the Box
When I say “coin canister” you probably think of some dingy, slotted can at the register filled with pennies and nickels from the 1970s, more of an eyesore than a fundraiser. But nonprofits and companies are thinking outside the box about donation boxes (a better name for “coin canisters”).
One of my favorite examples comes from the cleaning service Merry Maids, a company without storefronts and registers, whose employees took donation boxes to clients’ businesses and homes. Merry Maids empowered their clients to fundraise and “raise the roof” on these house-shaped bins to support the American Heart Association. The program raised over $100,000.
Finally, an agency called Layer has given the classic change box a much-needed makeover.
To help Maggie’s, a London-based charity focused on supporting cancer patients with information and advice, Layer designed this unusual orange and green donations container.
Fast Company gave the new design an impressive review, writing, “Instead of having a can-like design, the new Maggie’s change box looks almost like a silicon vase, dangling from a handle. It’s soft and inviting, bowing almost humbly towards the giver.”
A hip-looking donation box that is both “inviting” and “humble?” Now that’s creativity!