With so many ways to give this holiday season, and so many advertisers clamoring for attention, an alternative kind of giving often blends into the background. That alternative kind of giving is what is known in the advertising world as cause marketing. This year more than ever, cause marketing is clamoring to be heard above the din by connecting with its donors in new ways. One way involves a unique venture by a co-founder of Facebook, who seeks to index charities via a website and make them more accessible to donors. As Google indexed knowledge so is Jumo attempting to index charities and revolutionize the way people donate. Jenna Wortham http://nyti.ms/gj37Pz points out that he is in fact capitalizing on an underserved niche, as only 6% of 300 billion donated to charities in 2009 was donated online. Sure there are other sites that attempt to do the same, such as Global Giving, but Jumo takes it a step further. Perhaps an extension or upgrade of the Causes Facebook application, Jumo attempts to utilize the principles of Facebook to deepen donors ties with causes and unite donors by giving them a means to post about their donation and therefore inspire others to donate. Interesting concept, although there are always those who choose to remain anonymous (which in this case would defeat the purpose of this particular site). Adding to this movement of socializing cause marketing and donations are Geoff Livingston’s ”5 New Creative Social Good Campaigns for the Holiday Season” http://on.mash.to/eyuagy.
First there was Black Friday and Cyber Monday, now there’s Small Business Saturday and Green Gift Monday. Small Business Saturday is blossoming this year from its American Express roots to arrive on a Facebook platform with media support (Mayor Michael Bloomberg helped launch this year’s effort). American Express matched fan page ‘Likes’ with a $1 donations to Girls, Inc., partnered with Facebook to give 10,000 small businesses $100 worth of social advertising services, and supported a Twitter contest via promoted tweets offering $100 giveaways. The Nature Conservancy, proponents of Green Gift Monday, invited people to submit tips and tricks to make the holidays greener via Facebook and Twitter. Additionally they appealed to bloggers and other interested parties to spread the word through social channels, particularly on Cyber Monday, all to encourage people to purchase green gifts on Cyber Monday. Next is Yahoo, whose ‘How Good Grows’ initiative sounds like the social version of the movie “Pay It Forward.” The premise being that Yahoo provides $100 seed money to encourage acts of kindness by 400 internal and external influencers, who then reflect this in their status updates on Yahoo, Facebook and Twitter to encourage more acts of kindness. Even the Salvation Army is getting in on the action, continuing their Online Red Kettle program with the addition of mobile texting donations and an iPhone app. Last but not least, Kevin Bacon’s Six Degrees partners with Choose Haiti to show how purchasing H.E.L.P Bracelets made by Haitians helps fund job creation. All of these are intriguing, but how measurable are they and have they made a dent in increasing online donations? Now that is an ROI report I would be interested to read. If anything, cause marketing is venturing into social territory and its expansion could be a very good thing.