Keeping Your Cause Top-of-Mind in 2011

The 2010 holiday fundraising push has come to an end, but that doesn’t mean communication of your philanthropy or cause program should fade with the timely tax incentive. In fact, Cone research shows 90 percent of consumers want to hear about corporate cause efforts and 75 percent want to know the resulting impacts of corporate/nonprofit partnerships.

One organization keeping communication alive is the always-innovative TOMS Shoes. A Cone employee received a letter this week, signed by founder Blake Mycoskie, with the gift of a small braided bracelet. In the note, Blake recalls how, on his first trip to deliver TOMS Shoes, a child tied a similar bracelet around his wrist and he has worn it ever since to remind himself of the impact he had made on the child. The buy-one, give-one shoe maker sent a similar bracelet to remind recipients of the impact they made by purchasing TOMS Shoes. In addition to the thoughtful tactic nonprofits usually employ (the thank you note), the brand included a small token of appreciation to spread post-holiday goodwill to their loyal customers. The bracelet was not only a meaningful way to make consumers feel good about its previous purchase, but also to keep the brand top-of-mind as they make future purchases.

So as we emerge from the end-of-year whirlwind of promotions and fundraising pushes, don’t forget to reflect and say “thanks.” At minimum, the TOMS note touched our employee enough to chat about and share the nice gesture with others (potential customers). And when something is worth talking about, the word of mouth can generate enough buzz to keep your cause, and brand, in focus year-round.


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