6-Figure Cause Marketing Grad Uses Pinups, QR Codes to Help Homeless

I love when students put their education to good use. Maggie Keenan, a branding and cause marketing consultant in Savannah, Georgia, is a graduate of my Six Figure Cause Marketing course, which shows nonprofits and businesses how to develop and execute an effective and lucrative cause marketing program.

Maggie gets an A+ for her latest effort: a regional cause marketing program to support the Chatham-Savannah Authority for the Homeless, Inc.Hodges Management Company, which owns the local KFCs, KFC/TacoBells and DQ Grill & Chills, approached the Housing Authority about doing something to help the homeless this holiday season.

Thanks to Maggie, they came up with a great campaign: Dishing Out Meals: Fighting to End Hunger & Homelessness in Our Community.

You can read all about Maggie's outstanding cause marketing program on her blog. But let me take a moment to mention some of the things I really love about it.

It embraces the easiest and most lucrative type of cause marketing: point of sale. The pin-up below sold for a buck. While there are other types of cause marketing Maggie could have recommended to the partners, point of the sale is truly the best, especially for local programs like this one. I've raised as much as $300,000 in just a few weeks with pinups.

It taps every asset the business had for giving. Realizing that the pinup wasn't the best option for drive thru customers, Maggie created a value card with a QR code that takes customers directly to the Homeless Authority website for more information or to make a donation. Great thinking, Maggie! [One suggestion: The mobile donation page isn't optimized for smartphones. Check out what my friend Bob Jones at Give.mobi can do to make this a better experience and raise you more money!]

It battled indifference and apathy from the outset. Have you ever been asked to buy a pinup but the total lack of interest from the cashier convinced you that he or she didn't really care if you did? Hodges Management Company did their best to ensure that apathy and indifference wouldn't be part of this program. All general managers spent a Saturday learning and volunteering for the cause, an experience they'll share with their employees.

I'm proud of everyone involved in this program, and I'm eager to see the results when it's done. Most of all, I'm really proud of Maggie Keenan. She's a great student, asked lots of good questions and kept in touch with me to make sure she didn't make any of the many, many mistakes I made in my first programs.

Congratulations, Maggie! I'm sure this won't be that last post I'll write on one of your successful cause marketing campaigns!