What started with 40,000 pounds of chicken has grown into a million dollar cause marketing program. Since 2004 when Ocean State Job Lot began selling their signature red gift box in their 100 stores to support cancer care services at the hospital, Job Lot has hosted multiple pinup programs that will surpass $1 million shortly after they start their winter program this weekend.
(It's not s a surprise considering how well their business is doing, even during a recession!)
Last year's winter program, which ran for four weeks, raised $212,000. For the past two years, OSJL has done a second program in the spring in support the food pantry at the hospital.
Cause marketing is just one way the owner of this New England discount retailer, Marc Perlman, helps us. In addition to being a major individual donor to the hospital, his company gives us clothes, coats and food for our patients.
Just this week, Marc sent a tractor trailer full of cranberry sauce, potatoes and other products for clients of our food pantry whose Thanksgiving wouldn't be complete without his support.
I often hold Job Lot up as an example of a great cause marketing partner. They added cause marketing to their stores to further support our cause and to engage and educate their customers in the effort. I'm sure they enjoy some benefits from all the cause marketing do, but they've never expressed any interest in what it does for them. (Believe me, I've tried!)
They're also not a retailer that bases its giving solely on OPM (Other People's Money). As I mentioned above, they help us in a lot of other ways.
That's why when people start complaining about the selfishness of cause marketing partners I get confused because I'm lucky to have a few great partners that show me everyday the reasons why cause marketing is a good thing.
Right now, I can actually think of a million of them.