YMCA Puts the "Local" in Hyperlocal Cause Marketing

I visited my local Whole Foods last weekend and saw this cause marketing program at the register. I've seen these passive cause marketing programs before at Whole Foods, but this one was different. It benefited the West Suburban YMCA right down the street from the supermarket. It was the first time I had seen a program at Newtonville Whole Foods benefit a nonprofit in my town.

Fortunately, I had a great contact at the Y, La Tanya Arnold, whom I met at a business event a while ago and turned out to be huge Halloween Town fan. She referred me to to Annmarie Cobb, Director of Annual Giving & Community Relations, who gave me the scoop.

This Whole Foods location is the only store raising money for the Newton Y. It isn't part of a national effort by Whole Foods to raise money for Y's, as I first suspected. Shoppers had a choice of $2 or $5 donations.

Annemarie said the Y hoped to raise between $1,000 and $1,500 during the month of May.

The Y is on the right track working with a supermarket. Grocers have the foot traffic needed to raise lots of money with point-of-sale programs. The only thing missing from this program are more locations to raise more money!

There's another Whole Foods in my hometown just a couple of miles down the road, perhaps they could fundraise for the Y as well?

Like everyone I talk to, Annemarie said cause marketing will be a big focus of her work in the months ahead. But also like everyone else, she's not quite not sure who her next partner will be. That's when having Joe Waters live in your town just might be a good thing!