Soldier Shows that War, Cancer Can be A Good Thing

Every week I get a bunch of pitches from people asking me to write about or mention their cause-related product, service or venture. I was struck by Mike Volkin's appeal because it wasn't cause-related. But there was something really GOOD about it.

I'm also a big fan of fitness cards and wanted to support Mike's effort. Don't be disappointed that there isn't a cause marketing component here. I plan on working on my Mike!

Actually, Mike is doing it the smart way: he's focused on building a solid business first.

You can read Mike's story and learn all about his Strength Stack 52 on the Razoo Blog. You can check out his Kickstarter campaign here.

In the meantime, drop down and give me 20! As a former Army sergeant, I'm sure Mike would approve.

Related Pinterest Board: #FWB - Cause Product

New Chipotle 'Scarecrow' Video Has a Brain and a Heart

I love this new Youtube video The Scarecrow from Chipotle. I also really enjoyed David Vinjamuri analysis of it in Forbes. I think he's spot on.

"The Scarecrow' is not advertising. It is a narrative. The critics of the video – who charge that it is unfair and distorts the reality of conventional farming in the U.S. – miss the point. Chipotle is not trying to be fair – the brand is trying to provoke an emotional response, both from the people who agree and disagree with them. Chipotle realizes that the stronger the outcry is from people who detest the story they’re telling, the closer those who agree with them will align to the brand. Narrative works differently in the online space. Narrative is intended to begin a conversation."

The message for all us:

  • Take a stand and don't be afraid to make a few enemies.
  • Aim to evoke a strong emotional response.
  • Focus on the story, and not on waving your name and logo in everyone's faces all the time.
  • Rely on social sharing (people embedding your content in their blogs, on Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to connect the message to your brand.

Related Pinterest Boards: #FWB40 - Watch-to-Give Fundraiser (Sponsored by See3 Communcations), Cause Marketing - Message Promotion


A Great New Book from a Cause Marketing Legend

Click Here to Download Bruce's Book for Free

My testimonial on the back of Bruce Burtch's new book, Win-Win for the Greater Good, says it all:

"America had Christopher Columbus, cause marketing has Bruce Burtch. A man of firsts like the great explorer, Bruce has been designing innovative, highly-successful cross-sector partnerships since 1975, Win-Win for the Greater Good will help you chart a course for success for your organization and for a better world."

That may say it all, but here are a few more reasons to pick up Bruce's new book.

  • Bruce is a great writer. This book is informative, interesting and fun and easy to read. It exudes Bruce's dynamic personality.
  • This book is all about Glowing Your Business. Bruce correctly argues that a company can only glow when it has joined in partnership with one or more nonprofits to create a greater good.
  • As the Columbus of Cause Marketing, Bruce will help you take a long, hard look at your readiness for cross-sector partnerships or a cause marketing campaign. He doesn't sugarcoat the challenges, and warns readers that you can't get to this brave, new world in a row boat.

This is a great book written by cause marketing legend. But don't believe me, check out all the great reviews Bruce's book has on Amazon!

Update:  Bruce is hosting a FREE webinar on Wednesday, September 18th: Igniting Your Nonprofit’s Economic and Social Impact Through Partnerships. Sign up here!

This Cause Product Will Take You to the Moon, Stars & Beyond

AWB_Telescope_grande Today on the Razoo Blog I'm writing about a partnership between Celestron and Astronomers Without Borders. Together, they've created a wonderful cause-telescope to support AWB's mission.

You can read my weekly Razoo post here.

The AWB Telescope is a cause product because it was made specifically for a nonprofit. I think cause products are a big part of cause marketing's future. That's why I dedicated a whole chapter in my next book to cause products and have a Pinterest board to track campaigns.

One cause product I've admired is this one from a local brewery just two miles down the road from my house. It's called Rescue One Kölsch.

I'm on the hunt for more cause products so keep me in mind!

Related Pinterest Board: #FWB40 Cause Products

How About a Little Competition with Your Crowdfunding?

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This is  a guest post from my Toronto-based cause marketing buddy Phil Haid. He runs a great company called Public Inc. You should check them out. Anyway, because professional baseball in Toronto is sooooooo bad, Phil came out with this great cause promotion for Yankee and Sox fans that ends Monday. And, as I like to say: "Go Sox!"

Hey, New York Yankee and Boston Red Sox fans! This is especially for you.

If the money were all going to a good cause…

Would you pay to see Ryan Dempster dressed up as Captain America?

Would you throw in a few bucks for the chance to score 2 tickets and a meet and greet with David Robertson?

Would sweet victory off the field be motivation enough to help a favorite player take down a hated rival in an old-fashioned charity throwdown?

We’re betting it would.

Fan-atical fans and the celebrated Yankees – Red Sox rivalry are at the core of our latest installment of the Power of 2: MLB Edition (

It’s a twist on the wildly successful crowdfunding phenomenon that puts celebrities – and their fans – in the driver’s seat.

The Power of 2 platform pits two friendly rivals and their fans against one another over two weeks to see who can raise the most money for the favorite cause. The ask of fans is simple: give $2 or more, share it with at least 2 friends, and win a chance to meet your favorite celeb while helping a great cause. And just to heat up the competition, there is a friendly wager between the two celebrities whereby the “loser” has to do something mildly embarrassing and funny that people will want to watch.

When we launched this platform two years ago we were guided by a set of observations about the way celebrities engaged with charities that made us believe there were better ways to unlock more money and awareness for their favorite causes.

Here’s what we observed:

  • Celebrities (athletes, musicians, actors – even CEOs and political pundits) are doing more for charity than ever before, BUT
  • By and large, most celebrities are still doing fairly traditional things to support their favorite causes (e.g., public service announcements, charity auctions, “rubber chicken” dinners) which are great, but don’t necessarily create great opportunities to engage their broad fan bases directly in the experience, AND YET
  • Celebrities are a powerful way for fans/citizens to get engaged in and give to worthwhile causes because of their tremendous influence and reach.

So we set out to develop a platform that would leverage celebrities’ fan bases to engage them in a fun and meaningful experience that would cause something good to happen. We call it the “Power of 2” – two celebrities engaging in a fun head to head show down with their fans to raise money for worthwhile causes.

To date we have raised over $100,000 for charity in a handful of competitions. We’ve also generated a lot of awareness for several great causes thanks in large measure to great media pick-up (especially of the wagers) by ESPN, Fox Sports, CBS, ABC and NBC, helped the charities acquire new supporters, and increased the twitter and facebook followings for each of our celebs. But we think we can do a whole lot more.

So what have we learned?

If both celebs:

  • Are passionate about raising money & awareness for their respective charities
  • Are competitive, and want to win
  • Aren’t afraid to tap their own networks of supporters and fans
  • Have real influence with their fans, and
  • Are willing to engage in a fun wager (that they’d rather not lose
  • Then the chances of raising significant money through the power of the crowd is there.

Care to join in the fun?  Help Dempster & Robertson in their quest for glory (and the greater good) by visiting today and help us prove competitive crowdfunding is worth it.

Brands Declare Dependence on Patriotic Cause Marketing

I've been on the hunt for Fourth of July cause marketing. I wrote about one last week from Budweiser that involved augmented reality that is pretty cool. You can read about it in my monthly post on the For Momentum blog.

I found another one today.

For a second year, Napa Auto Parts is re-launching its Get Back and Give Back Campaign to support the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Through July, the campaign will offer a nationwide text-to-donate program during the month, which allows anyone to text 'NAPA' to 27722 to make a $10 donation.

Napa Auto Parts and NAPA AutoCare Centers are also offering customers mail-in rebates of up to $25 for every battery, alternator, and starter they purchase during the month. Customers can choose to donate all or a portion of these rebates, and Napa will donate $1 to the IFHF for any redeemed rebate.

This is the first time I've seen a company offer customers the option to donate their rebate to a cause, and then make a donation for every redeemed rebate (although I have this when consumers redeemed coupons).

Since I didn't find all Fourth of July cause marketing campaigns I was hoping to find, I dipped into my Pinterest boards and found a few other patriotic themed campaigns.

During the Superbowl Jeep'sWhole Again ad supported the USO and the troops.

One of my favorite campaigns from past Independence Days was Jersey Mike's Christmas in July campaign for Wreaths Across America. I think it takes a real giving spirit to host a fundraiser in July to put wreaths on soldiers' graves in December. But that's just what this sub chain did.

What Fourth of July cause marketing promotions have you seen?

Update: Stuart Elliot in the New York Times has a nice roundup of cause-related campaigns for The Fourth of July.