Newsletter: R.I.P. Toys "R" Us ⚰️; 25 Retail Influencers to Follow 👩‍💼; Are Supermarkets Next Hot Spot for Fundraising Events? 🍌


The nonprofit community lost an important corporate partner last week when Toys "R" Us announced it was closing all of its U.S. stores. Whether the storied retailer was murdered Caesar-like on the Ides of March by Amazon, Target and Walmart, or was a victim of gross mismanagement, was hotly debated on the Internet last week. But one thing is for sure: causes will lose millions when Toys "R" Us disappears from malls and retail parks this spring.

The mourners include:

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which had raised $3 million with the toy chain since 2016.

K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers, which celebrated a 30-year partnership with the retailer last year by announcing it had reached $100 million in donated books, toys, clothes, diapers, bottles, food and more.

Toys for Tots, which had called the company its #1 corporate partner for the past 14 years. During the holidays, the retailer was a natural collection site for toys.

Save the Children and Autism Speaks, which had both raised millions from the retailer with checkout programs.

I wouldn't be surprised if a down-sized version of Toys "R" Us reappears. But the brand and chain will never be the same. And some great causes will be poorer because of it. Rest in peace, Toys "R" Us. Thanks for all the toys and dough.

Top Stories

1. This week on CauseTalk Radio, Megan and I talk to Perry Yeatman, CEO, Perry Yeatman Global Partners and External Director, Mission Measurement about how companies and nonprofits can measure the success of social impact programs. This is a great podcast to whet your appetite before our comprehensive webinar on mission measurement on March 28th!

2. Business New Daily recently interviewed me for an article on what companies can learn about cause marketing.


Join me and Brittany Hill, co-founder of Catalist, for a one-hour, deep-dive discussion on data and measurement, with answers to your pressing questions around the most relevant types of data for CSR and cause professionals.

You will learn:

1. What types of data CSR executives want from nonprofit partners.

2. What data points you should be measuring to best evaluate a campaign or partnership success.

3. How to use the data you've collected to strengthen a corporate partnerships strategy.

4. Actionable steps and tips to leverage your nonprofit's data in partnership renewal conversations.


**Space is limited and we're almost full!

Cause Marketing


1. In last week's newsletter, I talked about discount retailer Burlington being a good prospect. Here's a profile on another off-price chainRoss. Heck, they already have over 1,600 stores - and they plan to open 100 more.

2. Comic book publisher Lion Forge is joining the relief efforts to help Puerto Rico. All profits from Lion Forge’s just-released Puerto Rico Strong anthology, written and illustrated by some of the top Puerto Rican and Latino talent in the comic book industry, will go to the United Way of Puerto Rico. Lion Forge will match the first $25,000 made from “Puerto Rico Strong,” with Diamond Comic Distributors also donating 5 percent of its retail sales to United Way of Puerto Rico.

3. If you want to work with retailers you have to understand retail. Start by learning from these 25 retail influencers. My two faves: Scott Galloway and The Retail Prophet.


"Having a nice CSR program doesn't make you a purpose-driven brand. It guides everything that your brand is doing."

- Todd Kaplan, PepsiCo

1. Stella Artois and PepsiCo talk purpose at SXSW. Next, read this HBR article on how socially responsible business can only succeed if it becomes a movement.

2. How Beautycounter enlists its sales team of 30,000 to fight for better regulation in the beauty industry. It helps that 80% of sales consultants say they wanted to work for Beautycounter in the first place because of its social mission. Bake purpose in right from the beginning!

Cause Content

News on companies & nonprofits that are leveraging storytelling and content marketing to build an engaged & subscribable audience that can - over time - be monetized.

1. Get your house in order, bucko. Few nonprofits do enough to make sure website visitors become donors. It starts with a focused effort to collect email addresses on your homepage. If you are not doing that, you're wasting your time. I'll have a webinar on this later this year.

Help Wanted**

1. Director, Corporate Partnerships, Feeding America (Chicago)

2. Director, Corporate Partnerships, ChildFund International (Richmond, VA)

3. Corporate Engagement Manager, We Mean Business (Europe or East Coast)

4. Associate Director, Social Impact, Kellogg Company (Battle Creek, MI)

**Would you like your cause-related job featured here? Hit reply or email me at

Mental Nourishment

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Resources to help you to improve or just learn something new and different

1. How the new Facebook algorithm works and what you can do to succeed. The algorithm will use signals that heavily favor “active” interactions such as comments and shares.

2. The hottest social scene in town isn’t the singles’ bar. It’s the supermarket. Hmm...a good place to meet fundraising prospects?

3. The case for why you should be focusing on bequests instead of corporate giving (because dead people give more than companies do! Sad but true.).


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