The growing and urgent rallying cry from people around the world to address critical global issues reached a fever pitch in 2015. From star-studded events like the Global Citizen Festival (headlined by Beyoncé, Coldplay, Stephen Colbert and others to take a stance against poverty), to the hundreds of thousands of individuals who took to the streets just two weeks ago at 2,300 separate climate marches, there's no denying a heightened level of awareness, activism and enlightenment around the world's acute social and environmental issues.
Cause marketing during the holiday season is nothing new. Companies have long realized the power of appealing to consumers' hearts and wallets to break through the holiday clutter. Although this year is no different with dozens of campaigns in the marketplace, there is a new twist on conventional efforts. Companies and nonprofits are moving beyond the shopping transaction and engaging consumers to spread even more good cheer with digital activations.
In the wake of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday is #GivingTuesday. Harnessing the power of social media, #GivingTuesday is asking shoppers to observe the season of giving in a different way: by first donating then sharing their giving stories using the hashtag #GivingTuesday. Yet, when it comes to online giving, a sizeable gap still remains between what Americans say they will do and what they have actually done.
Men across America are chucking their razors during the month of November, but it's more than just a fashion statement, it's a declaration in support of men's health. Movember is now firmly established as a cause marketing effort with "oomph," and is turning heads as it targets one of the most overlooked segments of shoppers: Millennial men.
With teens spending an average of nine hours a day interacting with media, especially social media, it's no surprise online bullying has become a rampant issue. In fact, more than 40 percent of teens have reported being bullied online and nine-in-10 who have witnessed online bullying have done nothing to stop it. Organizations are doing their part – harnessing hashtags and teen think tanks to brainstorm solutions and encourage youth to take a stand against online bullying. Cartoon Network's "Stop Bullying: Speak Up" campaign and Coca-Cola and DoSomething.Org's recent "Happiness Hackathon" are great examples. Now, a new PSA campaign just launched that make the issue emotionally compelling and easy for teens to take action against online bullying as it happens.
Wearables have been all the rage recently and many organizations have tapped into the technology, making it easier for consumers to link physical activity to a good cause.
Late last month the United Nations approved the Goals for Sustainable Development (SDGs), the most comprehensive and ambitious set of 17 goals to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030.
As business leaders from across the globe convene in New York at Climate Week, the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit and Clinton Global Initiative to solve some of the world’s most pressing social and environmental issues, many look to the Millennial generation as the nation’s growing influencers and social champions. And although Millennials are universally more engaged in corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts, that’s not nearly the end of the story.
Millennials, more than the average American, see social media as an avenue for change. With nearly three-quarters of Millennials saying they use social media as a platform to talk about issues they care about (vs. 52% U.S. average), this audience is primed to participate and raise awareness online. So how do you motivate millions of Millennials to take online action?
Leading up to this year's UN General Assembly in September and UN Climate Change Conference in December, action/2015 has made a goal to ensure leaders set and fund ambitious goals to tackle some of the world's most pressing issues. To do this, the coalition of more than 1,600 organizations looks to amplify its voice by harnessing the power of both digital and celebrities to motivate the masses to action.
While the urgent support needed for many social and environmental issues is no laughing matter, sometimes a dose of humor is just what is needed to motivate people to support important causes. This is the lesson learned from the U.K.'s #1 television fundraising event, which over a span of thirty years has raised more than $1 billion in donations. For the first time ever, the event will be taking over American televisions screens for a major fundraising affair.
Emojis are all the rage in social media and texting. Now, you can download a custom emoji keyboard of your favorite fast food snack or even order a pizza just by tweeting a pizza emoji. Until recently, emojis have been relegated to funny text conversations and shorthand exchanges, but that all changed this week when the World Wide Fund for Nature (also known as the World Wildlife Fund) launched #EndangeredEmoji.
Apps have been all the rage in the social impact world recently. We've reported on apps that trigger donations when you wash clothing or run a mile, and others that pause your text conversation while driving or help you make responsible purchasing decisions. The newest effort harnesses app technology to pit celebrities against each other in a competition to raise money for a cause, while reinforcing healthy lifestyles.
We said it before and we'll say it again: The traditional corporate-nonprofit partnership model is no more. Partnerships are constantly changing and expanding, with new roles, dynamics and opportunities cropping up as organizations push the boundaries of what's possible. The newest example comes when Share Our Strength and Shake Shack found their longstanding relationship flipped on its head.
Access to clean water is one of the world's most pressing issues. Even as water flows freely from taps in developing countries, woman around the world spend a combined 200 million hours every day collecting a few gallons for their families. Like many social issues facing developing countries, it is hard for Americans to understand the magnitude of such a crisis and what they can do to help. The newest campaign from Water.org and Stella Artois does just that through a combination of impactful storytelling and a simple call to action.
Last April, Facebook profile photos the world over went red and pink in support of marriage equality; now a new movement is taking social media by storm in the form of an icy challenge.
Last week I attended the SHE Summit at the 92nd Street Y. SHE Summit is a global women's leadership and lifestyle event, bringing together 60+ remarkable thought leaders, partners igniting change and thousands of influential women to celebrate and discuss female potential and possibility.
With technology platforms changing the way we purchase products and services on a regular basis, it was only a matter of time before such innovations impacted the way we give to charity.
The term "shop till you drop" is never more fitting than during the holidays. But fast on the heels of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday is a new movement that's gaining traction. The first Tuesday after Thanksgiving is getting a new look, drawing the focus away from giving presents and more on giving back - all while harnessing social media to spread the word.
Over the last week, there was no escaping the heartwarming story of Batkid, also known Miles, the five-year-old boy who bravely fought cancer and then turned his sights on fighting crime in Gotham City. As social networks lit up at unprecedented levels to show support, the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation demonstrated the power of storytelling and impact when told through the eyes of a young boy.