Nonprofit Spotlight: Autism Society of Minnesota

We love our nonprofit partners at DoTopia. After all, they are the reason we are here in the first place! This month, we are so excited to introduce you to the Autism Society of Minnesota. April is National Autism Awareness Month, so it is very fitting to be highlighting this amazing organization. Read on to learn more about the incredible work AuSM does and join us in supporting their mission.

How did this organization get formed and what does it stand for?

The Autism Society of Minnesota is Minnesota’s First Autism Resource ™

In 1971, a group of passionate parents founded AuSM to seek greater understanding and better school supports for their children with autism. More than four decades later, AuSM continues its mission to improve the lives of people with autism, but with an expanded focus along the entire lifespan, from birth through retirement.

Whether you are the parent of a child with a new diagnosis, an adult with autism who needs guidance, an educator or healthcare professional who supports people with autism, or a company that wants to learn more about the talents of people with autism, AuSM offers the resources you need to help you accomplish your goals.

AuSM is a place where everyone can learn, access services, and develop skills for navigating what can be challenging emotions and complex information. Services include membership, workshops, the Minnesota autism conference, AuSM Skillshops, the Life with Autism Series for newly diagnosed and specific life stages, specially tailored summer camps for youth and adults with autism, interest-based social skills classes with community partners, Counseling and Consulting Services, support groups, Autism Direct Support Certification training, sensory-friendly events, advocacy, Information and Resources, and customized autism training.

As the autism diagnosis rate increases, so, too, does the need for programs and services to help people with autism thrive. As the state’s oldest nonprofit autism organization, AuSM relies on the generosity of our community to carry out our important mission. 100% of donated dollars stay local, benefitting Minnesota families and individuals touched by autism.

Where has your organization made the most impact?

AuSM is an organization that serves the needs of the local autism community by providing services and programs that enhance the lives of individuals, helping them to grow and thrive. AuSM takes pride in being responsive to our community, filling gaps in services through thoughtful program planning and through trainings to businesses and organizations throughout the state.

What are your organizations top initiatives in 2018?

AuSM’s initiatives align with their mission of enhancing the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorder through education support, collaboration, and advocacy.

Initiatives include:

  • Being Minnesota’s first autism resource with  free Information and Resources hotline
  • Having a voice at the Capitol through advocacyffering educational opportunities through our state autism conference, workshops, AuSM Skillshops
  • Helping youth and adults grow through summer camps, social skills classes, and inclusive community events
  • Raising awareness and appreciation through resource fairs and business and organization trainings
  • Serving as support for individuals, families, and caregivers through their AuSM Counseling and Consulting Services program and free support groups
  • Continuing to listen to their community and understanding needs

How can one get involved and support your mission?

AuSM has many ways for our community to get involved with theirprograms and services. If you would like to donate your time to the Autism Society of Minnesota, they have a variety of ways you can help. Many of AuSM’s volunteer opportunities surround awareness and fundraising events including Steps of Hope, our annual state conference, the AuSM Gala, the AuSM Golf Classic, and more. Information about volunteering can be found on our website, www.ausm.org.

AuSM also encourages our community to consider donating dollars in support of AuSM’s mission. Their supporters sustain the work that has helped so many in the Minnesota autism community. AuSM’s drive for continuing this work is strong as they constantly look for ways to serve you even better. 100% of donations stay in the Minnesota autism community, and every dollar counts. Donations can be made through DoTopia’s website by searching “Autism Society of Minnesota”.

23rd Annual Minnesota Autism Conference

During the 23rd Annual Minnesota Autism Conference held April 25-28, 2018 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Minneapolis,, we will join our voices as a passionate community to inspire learning, hope, and innovation. Experts, parents, caregivers, educators, paraprofessionals, mental health professionals, service providers, and individuals on the spectrum will have a platform to connect, collaborate, advocate, and educate. The conference will feature four keynote speakers, Frank Campagna “Autism Daddy”; Jed Baker, PhD; Stephen Shore, PhD; and Leah Kuypers MA Ed, OTR/L; as well as 35 breakout sessions focused on a wide variety of topics important to their community, exhibitors offering products and services, and the AuSM Bookstore.

This year’s conference will begin with an exciting family celebration featuring Julia, the newest Sesame Street Muppet, a character who was created to increase awareness and understanding of autism. During Julia’s AuSM Autism Celebration, meet walkaround Julia, visit resource tables, participate in sensory activities, and play games during this age and ability inclusive event.

For more information or to register for the conference, visit www.ausm.org.

 

We are proud to call the Autism Society of Minnesota a DoTopia charity partner and are grateful for the work they do.

DoTopia makes it easy to give to AuSM as well as millions of other charities of your choice on our platform.

Sign up for a Personal Giving Account today.

Lead With Love Leadership Summit 2018

 

DoTopia is elated to be a sponsor at this years Lead With Love 2018 Summit held in Aspen, Colorado. Lead With Love is a four day event where people all over the world gather to discuss social impact, wellness in the community, and much more.

 

What is the Lead With Love Summit?

We’re glad you asked!  Lead With Love is a once a year summit held in Aspen, Colorado that started in 2016. All proceeds to this event go to Project Wellbeing (formerly known as Aspen City of Wellbeing) which is a non-profit that promotes wellbeing throughout the city of Aspen through programs, retreats, consulting, online resources, and of course their biggest event of the year, the Lead With Love Summit. This summit is a gathering for leaders in well-being, conscious communication, social impact, and the opening of the heart, body, and mind. Feature presenters include John Mackey, CEO and co-founder of Whole Foods, and Lynne Twist, founder of the Soul of Money Institute.

Other activities include yoga classes, sound healing, meditation, music, any many other spiritual experiences to help immerse yourself in the power of healing and wellness.

When is the summit?

Lead With Love is Thursday, October 25- Sunday, October 28

How is DoTopia involved?

Not only is DoTopia a proud sponsor for this years summit, but our founder, Billy Weisman, will be a presenter! He will be on a panel with three other presenters, discussing the Tipping Point Founders Story on Sunday afternoon. If you want to look at the full schedule of presenters, you can click here.

How do I get tickets?

Great question! You can get tickets here. As a bonus for supporting Lead With Love and DoTopia, you can get 100$ off your ticket using the code DOTOPIALOVE at checkout, awesome!

 

 

The Power of Micro Giving

Individuals, estates, foundations and corporations contributed an estimated $390.05 billion to U.S. nonprofits in 2016.  In addition, the largest source of charitable giving in 2016 came from individuals at $281.86 billion, or 72% of total giving; followed by foundations ($58.28 billion/15%), bequests ($30.36 billion/8%), and corporations ($18.55 billion/5%).  It’s safe to say there is a lot of power in giving.

We often talk about the power of the individual and you can’t ignore those numbers. While difficult to believe at times, each of us has the power and ability to make a difference. We get it, it’s easy to think “why me” or “I’ll let someone else take this one” We’ve all been there.

Micro saving and micro investing, with applications such as Acorns, Betterment, and Robinhood, has been on the rise in recent years, and for good reason – it works and it’s powerful!  The same is true for micro giving. The average donor contribution to nonprofits is around $25-$50 per individual, which goes a long way to power incredible work when you add up all the contributions.

Of course all nonprofits welcome larger donations, but our point is individual’s are incredibly powerful.  DoTopia’s challenge to you is to incorporate giving into your monthly budget. Much like an investment portfolio, we strongly encourage our DoTopians to determine their giving portfolio. When asked what causes you care most about, how amazing would it be to have a running list of organizations you support regularly? Many of you can do that (kudos), but for those of you who need some direction, DoTopia created a tool to find nonprofit(s) you are passionate about. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

To spark some inspiration, here are are some of the DoTopia Team’s go-to causes:

  • St. Jude
  • Alzheimer’s Research Foundation
  • Petersen Automotive Museum Foundation
  • Still Kickin’
  • JDRF – Type 1 Diabetes Research Funding and Advocacy
  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Join the giving movement today and stay tuned. We can’t wait to share with you what we have in store for June!

Ten Speakers You Should Know Before the Engage for Good Conference

The Engage for Good Conference is coming to Chicago May 23rd and 24th and DoTopia is thrilled to be a part of it once again.

For those of you new to Engage for Good, its purpose is to work at the intersection of cause and commerce. Engage for Good provides brands and nonprofits the practical information and connections they need to succeed. A lovely and actionable goal. Originally founded as The Cause Marketing Forum in 2002, CEO David Hessekiel, does an impeccable job keeping the organization relevant by engaging leading corporations and nonprofits alike.

Most recently, The Cause Marketing Forum rebranded as Engage for Good and has continued to be a leading force for social impact. The Engage for Good Conference is a two-day event bringing together an impressive roster of philanthropic brands. Here are ten speakers we are excited to hear from and the good their brands are doing in the world.

Joe Waters – Selfish Giving, @joewaters

Joe shows nonprofits and businesses how to build win-win partnerships that raise money and change the world. He’s the blogger behind Selfish Giving and co-host CauseTalk Radio with Megan Strand. He’s also the author of two books on cause marketing.

Joe will be kicking off the conference with the Social Impact Mastermind Meetup.

Dave Stangis – Campbell’s, @DaveStangis

Dave designs Campbell’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability strategies, goals, policies, and programs. He leads the Company’s strategies and external engagement related to CSR Strategy, Responsible Sourcing, Sustainable Agriculture, and Operational Sustainability. In addition, Dave has helped the company achieve its place on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, the 100 Best Corporate Citizens List, World’s Most Sustainable Corporations and recognition as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. WOW!.

Dave will be leading the Business Leadership Summit which will provide a unique opportunity to bond with peers and pick up success strategies for blending purpose and profit.

Molley Rhea – For Momentum, @ForMomentum

Molly founded For Momentum in 2003, when very few agencies specialized in cause marketing. Since then, For Momentum has become one of the leading cause marketing firms in the United States.

Molly is leading the Nonprofit Leadership Summit and Elevating Cause Partnerships discussion.

P.S. we’re BIG FANS of For Momentum @ DoTopia.

Laura Swapp – REI, @REI

Laura leads REI’s Marketing strategies designed to reach new audiences and change the conversation about what it means to be a purpose-driven brand. She is responsible for developing and overseeing various go-to-market approaches to reach new audiences, with a primary focus on women and millennials.

Laura will be speaking at the Power of Brand Activism talk focused on the new breed of purpose marketing..

Icema Gibbs – JetBlue, @IcemaGibbs

Icema is the Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at JetBlue.

She will be leading the conversation on Corporate Giving Disasters Best Practices. 2017 will be remembered for its seemingly endless barrage of natural disasters. With consumer and employee expectations sky-high when it comes to corporate involvement in times of trouble, how are organizations making a meaningful impact, both in immediate response and in ongoing recovery?

Lauren Chasannof – Common Impact, @CommonImpact

Lauren leads Common Impact’s marketing, thought leadership and partnership initiatives and drives the implementation of the organization’s overall marketing strategy.

Today’s employees, particularly millennials, want their work to have purpose and help develop their unique competencies. Do you blame them? Lauren is a part of the a breakout session on how to develop and retain next gen leaders with skills-based volunteering.

Charlotte Lucich – Habitat Burger Grill, @habitburger

With more than 20 years of traffic-driving and brand building experience, Charlotte joined The Habit Burger Grill as director of marketing in 2014.  Since joining The Habit, the company has doubled in size growing from 90 restaurants to more than 200 in 11 states.

How do you keep a 10-year initiative fresh and interesting? The Staying Relevant breakout group will explain how an experiential nationwide school bus tour and a new use for a popular hashtag generated media interest, record-setting fundraising totals, increased foot traffic and engaged employees.

Asha Sharma – Facebook, @facebook

Asha is currently the product lead for Social Good at Facebook and a Board Director at Porch.com.

Asha will be participating in the Using Tech to Amplify Good discussion. Technology powers our everyday interactions with brands and good causes, but how are tech companies leveraging their products, not just their profits, to create meaningful social change?

Atlanta Mcllwraith – Timberland, @Timberland

Atlanta is the senior manager of community engagement and communication at Timberland.

Atlanta will be giving a first-hand account of the fascinating evolution of Timberland’s social impact program from planting trees as a donor-dependent, traditional cause marketing effort to the creation of a 3,000 member, self-sustaining Haitian cooperative which has planted more than seven million trees and provided a unique supply chain opportunity for Timberland.

Melanie Fallon-Houska – Random House, @randomhouse

Melanie is Director, Corporate Giving at Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade book publisher, comprised of nearly 250 imprints and publishing brands on five continents. Melanie oversees the company’s U.S. corporate charitable contributions and in-kind donations, including its matching gifts program and Penguin Random House Foundation projects.

Melanie will be part of a breakout discussion on what are the best ways to infuse innovation and co-creation into partnerships while successfully engaging corporate employees?

PHEW!

This is just a short list of all the impressive individuals and companies who will be in attendance at the Engage for Good Conference this year. Congratulations to all of these companies who are promoting missions beyond just profit.

If you are attending the conference, we hope this post gives you a teaser into the impressive panelists. We are looking forward to speaking with these individuals and learning more about how they tie their company initiatives into their overall sustainability promises.

Pure Capitalism to the B Corp

We recently caught up with Russ Stoddard, CEO & Founder of Oliver Russell, a certified B Corporation that helps purpose-driven companies create stronger brands, increase market share, and build communities of fans, followers, and advocates. Definitely a crush-worthy company mission. Even a glance at Oliver Russell’s people will put a smile on your face. The purpose-driven agency has been around since 1991, consistent with the inception of cause marketing. Yet Russ (aka: the magnet for good) has been doing this “social good” thing for far longer, 30 years to be exact. He has experienced all parts of the equation through his work inside the corporate world, as an entrepreneur, and in starting five nonprofits. We like to call this “the trifecta” as we also work to inspire people, companies, and causes at DoTopia.

As previously stated, Oliver Russell is a B Corporation. B Corps are a type of company that use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. Companies like Oliver Russell have subjected themselves to being scrutinized by the nonprofit B Lab to meet high performance standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. With over 2,400 Certified B Corps today, this way of building business for good continues to grow exponentially and has reached more than 50 countries already.

Given the experience Russ has in the world of social good, he shared his thoughts with us on why companies continue to explore other purpose-driven ways to do business like becoming a certified B Corp.

Q. We know Oliver Russell is B Corp Certified. Love to see this! What events do you believe drove companies to go from Pure Capitalism to business models like the “B Corp”?

A. First, I think you have a class of company leaders that is motivated by the challenge of using business to solve social and environmental problems—these models create deep meaning and a higher purpose for people whether they’re Millennials or seasoned corporate leaders who are launching second careers. Next, governments here in the U.S. have begun vacating some of their traditional roles as environmental and social fixers, often due to lack of funding, so companies are filling this void to fulfill this mission and create a financial profit. Lastly, people increasingly recognize that the B Corp model gives you a competitive edge—its foundation is just smart business in so many ways and creates a great platform to sustainably manage a business for success.

Q. What trends are causing more companies to think about being purpose-driven?

A. I think the marketplace is working its powerful magic to pressure companies to evolve their business models: employees want to work for companies and create social impact through their work; customers are seeking out brands that are aligned with their personal values; and investors are looking broadly at “purpose” as an umbrella term for minimizing their risk around ESG (environmental, social, and governance) considerations.

Q. How far do you think building socially-conscious business will go? What do you think the future holds for this movement?

A. All indicators right now—and I could kill you with data from any number of responsible, independent sources—would say that this movement will continue to build and become part of the norm. Why?! It’s just smart business.

Q. Who are some of the companies you think are getting this right?

A. There are so many of all sizes and stripes. Patagonia, for sure, is a big-name and a model for this movement. You can find small companies in rural America getting it right as well, such as Red Ants Pants in White Sulphur Springs, Montana. Red Ants Pants makes workwear designed especially for women and they invest in their community through a mission to develop and expand leadership roles for women; to preserve and support working family farms and ranches; and to enrich and promote rural communities. They live their purpose and their customers rally around them loyally because of it.

Q. What people/leaders/CEOs have inspired you to pursue a career in this work?  

A. I’ve been at this for nearly 30 years, so it’s hard for me to remember who inspired me way back then. But I can tell you a few of my heroes who inspire me today. Robert Eggers of LA Kitchen, who’s creating meaningful employment for underserved communities through healthy food; Curt Bowen of Semilla Nueva, who’s working to end malnutrition in Guatemala; Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia, because he’s blazed a principled trail for the rest of us to follow; Sarah Calhoun of Red Ants Pants, who’s empowering women through her fantastic clothing; Christopher Scott of House of Renewed Hope, who was exonerated of murder and now works to free others who have been wrongfully convicted; and Mark Lung of Eco2librum, which fights poverty and deforestation in Kenya and is the highest scoring B Corporation in the world. I could go on and on—I’m lucky to have so many heroes.

Interested in hearing more from Russ? We thought so. Check out his book: Rise Up – How to Build a Socially Conscious Business.

Gen Z is Here

You’ve heard us speak to the changing workforce dynamic… almost on a weekly basis. This spring, Gen Z will be graduating from college and entering the workforce. Are you ready?

Here is a repost a favorite blog post of ours highlighting David and Jonah Stillman of Gen Z @ Work.

Meet David and Jonah Stillman, co-authors of Gen Z @ Work.

For nearly 20 years, David has been enamored with generations, their impact on the workplace and sharing his expertise with world renowned companies.

For 17 years, Jonah has been living the Gen Z life, sharing his insights with various companies and is currently the youngest speaker on the national lecture circuit.

Together they are the first father-son Gen X / Gen Z speaking team.

Their book, Gen Z @ Work, releases today and the team at DoTopia is proud to be a featured company in the book.

We had the pleasure of interviewing David earlier this month:

First things first, here’s a quick refresher on Who is Gen Z :

  • They were born between 1995 and 2012
  • At 72.8 million strong, Gen Z is about to make its presence known in the workplace in a major way—and employers need to understand the differences that set them apart
  • They’re radically different than Millennials, and yet no one seems to be talking about them… until now
  • This generation has an entirely unique perspective on careers and how to succeed in the workforce

All the buzz over the years has been about millennials.  What sparked you to write about Gen Z?

There has been SO much buzz about Millennials that people haven’t imagined that there was life after Millennials. We saw too many people assuming everyone under 30 was a Millennial when in fact, Gen Z is already 22 years old. Even more so, this generation is radically different than Millennials. If Gen Z is treated like Millennials, it will surely backfire. This sparked us to write the book.

Throughout your research, what surprised you the most about Gen Z?

A bunch of surprises – all proving our theory on just how different Gen Z is from Millennials. To name a few:

  • More competitive and independent than Millennials who are very collaborative
  • Prefers face to face communication most – even more than texting! (82% prefer face to face)
  • Willing to pay dues and start at the bottom. They are willing to stay at a company for more than 10 years. (71% said they will start at bottom)
  • Wants their own private workspace and does not like open office concept. (Only 8% liked open office concept)

What qualities in a company or brand will be most important to Gen Z when they are deciding where to work?

  • 91% said technological sophistication would impact their desire to work at a company.
  • Having seen too many leaders called into question as well as companies suffer in the recent recession, this generation wants honest and transparent leadership.
  • Gen Z is looking for places where they can wear multiple hats. In fact, 75% of this generation would like to work somewhere where they can have multiple career paths at the same time.
  • Having grown up in the recession, as much as Gen Z wants to make a difference in the world like Millennials did, they want money first and foremost.

What drew you to include DoTopia in your new book?

One of the key traits of this generation is HYPER CUSTOM. This is a generation that has grown up with the ability to customize everything from their twitter handles to their Nike shoes. I love how DoTopia puts the power of giving back in their hands. In addition, the fact that it is so easy to use is perfect for these digital natives who have only known a world where everything can happen right on your phone.

What steps should companies be taking to appropriately prepare themselves to be successful with this important Generation, as both employees and consumers?

First and foremost – do not assume they are anything like Millennials.

Second – get to know what makes them different. The best way to do this is to understand the

events and conditions that shaped them.

Third – realize that the leading edge is just graduating college this spring. The time to act is NOW.

They can be proactive rather than reactive later. That does not mean they have to start all over. The goal is to anticipate where the gaps will be and what they can as well as cannot change.

How will Corporate Social Responsibility change as Gen Z invades the workforce?  What impact will that have beyond the office?

  • This generation want to make a difference, but will want to make profits first. As they see it, the more money they make, the more money to give back.
  • Gen Z will be big supporters of social entrepreneurialism.

If we only remember one thing about this generation – what should that be?

Gen Z is their own generation and the time to get to know them is TODAY!

What’s next for the father and son, Stillman, duo?

We will continue to hit the speaking circuit shedding light on Gen Z with organizations. In addition, we are launching the first global study of Gen Z that will compare/contrast the generation across the globe.

10 ways not to epically fail at cause marketing

10 Ways NOT to Epically Fail at Cause Marketing

The phrase “epic fail” can be used to describe a lot of unfortunate events. Perhaps this adequately describes the keish you tried to make for your best friend’s going away brunch? Or worse, you didn’t have a back-up plan for your outdoor wedding ceremony and a monsoon hit. Regardless of the experience, we have all been there.

Many CEO’s would say they attribute failure to the reason they achieved their biggest successes. No one likes to hear this immediately after making a big mistake, but once our ego’s get out of the way, we can agree that failure is a large part of being human. Failure is often described as:

First

Attempt

In

Learning

In fact, here are some of the best epic company fails of recent times.

Either way, avoiding missteps and attempting to do things correctly the first time is the goal. Most of us would do research and even take a longer approach to solving a problem, especially when it comes to uncharted territory for your business like cause marketing. Improvement comes regardless.

Understanding Cause Marketing

By definition, Cause Marketing is the marketing of a for-profit product or business which benefits a nonprofit (or nonprofits) or supports a social cause (or causes) in some way.

Perhaps you’re an experienced cause marketer already. For those newbies to this marketing tactic, this idea may make you nervous. Marketing combined with social good might seem unconventional or risky. Don’t worry, you’re not alone in feeling this way. We will address that sentiment in a bit.

Let’s first begin by reframing your thinking.

Cause marketing is far more common that most people realize and has gone from a $120 million industry in 1990 to more than $2 billion in 2016. Companies and nonprofits alike believe in the power it can provide for both entities. Additionally, research shows that more than 84 percent of global consumers want to buy socially or environmentally responsible services and products. Still not convinced? Here are some great examples of cause marketing done right.

Doing Cause Marketing the Right Way

As with anything, cause marketing can be executed incorrectly. Though we’d like to assume the best in all companies, cause marketing has been ridiculed and pegged to not only seem inauthentic, but at its worse, has detracted from the brand purpose and good the company is trying to do (even if their hearts were in the right place…). As a skeptic, you are not 100% wrong. Rather than tell you and your company how to create a successful cause marketing campaign (Kim Gordon has some simple tips in this Forbes article on that), we are going to tell you 10 Ways NOT to epically fail at cause marketing.

  1. Be Real – Your customers better believe you when you say “I care about the causes you care about” or “This cause is important to us because…”. If you are just doing something for PR benefits, you won’t get away with it. KFC’s “Buckets for the Cure” is a perfect example of one campaign gone wrong. 
  2. Talk to your customers first – What causes matter to those you are trying to engage? You will definitely not nail your focus down to one cause, so instead consider a focus area (healthcare, environment, education etc.) or even allow your customers to decide on the specific organizations they want to support. It should align with your brand and mission in some way (think TOMS® shoes and giving shoes to those in need).
  3. Focus on the right goals – One of the main goals for any company should be to drive brand affinity as a result of cause marketing. Look beyond the traditional customer loyalty measures which can be short-sighted and not inclusive of a personal and emotional relationship with your customers.
  4. Get social (media) happy – Knowing that Americans spend most of their online time on social media sites (does anyone else find this concerning?), use this knowledge to your advantage. Social media is a great way to research prior to launch and make your campaign go further with custom hashtags and the virality of social media to promote your campaign.
  5. Measure, Manage, and MultiplyKnow the goals of both your company and the organization(s) you wish to support, how you plan to achieve them, and how you can double down on any efforts your customers put toward the program. You want them to care, but you may need to do more to show them how important they are to the success of the program.
  6. Ask your employees – Your employees are developing close relationships with your customers. It would be a major miss not to get them involved. Build excitement around your cause marketing initiatives and involve a diverse group (not just CSR or Marketing) into the overall campaign strategy.
  7. Research community needs – Perhaps you run a local coffee shop and it is very clear as to what nonprofits need support in your area. For other Fortune 1000 companies, it is more difficult. The global nature of business has expanded our reach and overall needs for businesses to do good. While a single cause marketing campaign may be short-sighted, businesses with a national or global reach may be most suited for a solution that allows customers to support their specific community needs. Based on research among DoTopians, givers appreciate the ability to support nonprofits that are doing work that is visible in their communities.
  8. Be proud – As a company, you should be proud of the positive work you are doing in the pursuit to make the world a better place. Be prepared that regardless of how well executed your program is, internet trolls and haters will find their way to you. The more positive energy and employee excitement you infuse into your program, the more successful it will be.
  9. One and Done Doesn’t Work – If you are committed to aligning purpose to profits, you can’t just expect to do one campaign every year and for it to appear genuine. Cause marketing campaigns may be one-off initiatives, but you must find ways to engage customers in social good with your company all year. Providing DoDollars® as a part of a traditional customer loyalty program is one way you could remind customers of your desire to be seen as a socially good company, not just when it is convenient to do a marketing campaign.
  10. Share positive financial expectations with leadership – Real talk here. Your CMO is going to want to know the return of cause marketing whether that be in the form of leads, conversions, sales, and ultimately profitability for your company. This is NOT a bad thing. In fact, if businesses do not continue to be profitable, our nonprofits will be missing out on a lot of financial support, around $50 billion dollars. There is proof everywhere now as to why being a socially good company will lead to higher profits. American Express led the cause marketing movement with the company’s famous partnership with the nonprofit group that was raising funds to restore the statue of liberty during a three-month campaign. Often cited as the birth of cause marketing, American Express card usage rose 27 percent and new card applications increased 45 percent over the previous year. Customers want to see brands doing good and the reward will come in the form of greater profitability for your company.

If you can’t already tell, we are big fans of cause marketing and have witnessed numerous success stories on behalf of both the brand and the causes. Hopefully your company has already started giving your customers and employees what they are asking for in today’s socially tuned-in and giving oriented climate. If not, it is never too late to start. You should have also gathered that cause marketing is not a one size fits all solution nor is it the end game. As brands continue to pursue a greater purpose outside of sole profitability, your company will need an ongoing plan to attract and build affinity with your customers. We know one simple thing is for certain…

No one ever became poor by giving.

Next time you have the opportunity, remind your company.

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