How would you like to be in my book Cause Marketing for Dummies? Here's what I'm looking for. I have a whole chapter devoted to online cause marketing. Within it, I want a section for e-tailers and other online businesses that want to partner with and raise money for causes online.
When I first outlined the section, I had a couple good ideas in mind. The first was Change Round-Up, about which I wrote gushingly a while back. Before shoppers check out online they're asked to make a donation. Online point-of-sale! But the last time I talked to the owner of Change Round-Up he said he was shuttering the business. Too bad.
The other online solution I hope to include in my book was Endorse for a Cause, about which I've also positively written. EFAC's online widget on individual web pages allows shoppers to share brands and products with their friends over Twitter and Facebook, triggering a donation to their favorite causes.
Great idea. But when I did a random search for its badge on its partners websites I didn't find any. Maybe I didn't look hard enough. But maybe EFAC is a great idea whose time has not yet arrived.
So I went back to the drawing board and looked for some online cause marketing solutions that would work for causes and companies.
I really like Beanstalk Giving, which seems to be the successor to Change Round-Up. Like the latter, Beanstalk has a web tool that allows shoppers to add a little extra, either by rounding-up their change or adding $2-$3 to their total - which then goes directly to a charity of the donor’s choice.
Another idea is Katchingle which allows you to make micropayments for online content. According to the site, you can put a Kachingle medallion on anything (e. g. site, blog, individual page, app). After a user sets up an account they can make small recurring payments wherever they see the medallion. They can also see who else is making payments. Cool.
This could be applied to online cause products. Similar to Endorse for a Cause, shoppers wouldn't have to buy the item, they could just Kachingle an environmental cause when they visit Timberland and Patagonia online.
Kachingle could also be used on nonprofit web sites for donors to make small donations when they see or read content that resonates with them. Every cause video on Youtube should have a Kachingle medallion!
The challenge is, of course, that most people have no idea what Kachingle is. I didn't until three days ago. As one author wrote last September, "A year and a half after the Internet first started buzzing about it, Kachingle hasn’t really caught on." That might be an understatement.
But I hope Kachingle and online cause marketing does catch on. An extra jingle of coins for nonprofits when so many are struggling would be a welcome sound.