The cause marketing team has been busy planning Halloween Town, which will expand to two days this October at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston. There are so many facets to consider: sponsors (we have close to 20 so far), volunteers (last year we had 300), printing (over 300,000 mobiles alone will need to be printed and distributed to retailers), entertainment (dozens of face painters, balloon artists, jugglers, vampires, costumed characters, etc), it makes me ask if there isn't an easier way to promote and raise money for Boston Medical Center.
Nestle and City of Hope may have my answer with a new virtual fundraiser. Special events will always have their place in the nonprofit world, but they have an ugly side: they're labor and time intensive and expensive. With more people than ever turning to the Internet to connect with others and for information and entertainment, I think we'll see more online fundraisers like the Nestle/City of Hope effort.
Through the end of the year visitors to Sticksofhope.com can send a message on a virtual pop stick (it's cool, go try it), for which Nestle will donate 25 cents to City of Hope to benefit programs and research for kids with cancer. Nestle is guaranteeing a minimum donation of $50,000. Check out City of Hope's other cause marketing partnerships here.
Interestingly, Nestle makes a point of saying on the site that ice cream sales will help fund the company's contribution to City of Hope. It almost sounded from my initial read that Nestle would be making an additional donation based on sales of select products. But on my second read (okay, fifth) I realized that Nestle was just reminding consumers who was really making the donation: shoppers who buy nestle products.
Congratulations to Nestle for not supporting the myth of the "corporate treasure chest" that is as bottomless as it is mysterious.
Bottom line is if you're thankful to Nestle for helping City of Hope, buy their ice cream. It will be a sweet deal for everyone.