CauseTalk Radio Ep86: Social Good at SXSW - Is it Just Hype?

Today on CauseTalk Radio, Megan and I talk to John Ludlow, a causepreneur, do-gooder and Austin-based consultant who's attended the popular interactive portion of the South by Southwest Conference five times. John is also a past guest on CauseTalk Radio.

Thanks to John, we get the inside scoop on the #sxgood track at SXSW. John, Megan and I talk about several cause promotions that happened during the conference and whether good is growing - or heading south at SXSW.

Are you a nonprofit, causepreneur or cause marketer who's thinking of attending SXSW in 2015? John shares his opinion. He might even have a place in Austin where you can stay!

Tune in now! 

Cause Talk Radio Ep34: Beyond 'Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding' with Jocelyne Daw

Today, Megan and I get a Canadian perspective on nonprofit and for-profit partnerships from cause pioneer Jocelyne Daw. 

Jocelyne is a Calgary-based consultant, author of Cause Marketing for Nonprofits and co-author of Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding, which she wrote with three other stellar cause professionals: Carol Cone, Kristian Darigan Merenda and Ann Erhard.

Jocelyne explores how the cause movement has grown for our neighbors to the north and identifies several key cause trends, including more partnerships among nonprofits and the hot new area of employee engagement.

I've dubbed Jocelyne the Canadian Cause Queen! Join us now to hear from this queen of snow, cold and cause! 

Paper Pinups vs Credit Card Machines: Which One Raises More Money?

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People always ask me if there's a good alternative to traditional paper pinups. The answer is maybe.

My friend and fellow cause marketer Scott Henderson sent me this picture of a register program at Radio Shack that prompts shoppers to support LIVESTRONG after they've swiped their credit card. I prefer the credit card machine because there is no paper waste from the pinups, which will all end up in the trash after the program is done.

There's one problem: promotions involving credit card machines may not be as effective and lucrative as paper pinups.

My former colleague Holt Murray and I discussed this on Twitter.

First, if there is no activation from the cashier (i.e. "Would you like to donate a dollar to fight cancer?") nothing will happen. But this is true with paper pinups as well. No ask, no gift.

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Second, the credit card machine is not a place where shoppers want to linger. As Holt points out, he just wants to get through the transaction as quickly as possible.

Third, the credit card machine just seems a lot easier to opt-out of. One thing that's great about pinups is people have to acknowledge to the cashier - and everyone around them - that "Yes, I will donate a dollar." That's not the case with the credit card machine. It's interesting what people do when no one is looking.

However, there are almost as many good reasons to use the credit card machine. You'll save money not printing pinups. Ann Taylor, CVS, Auto Zone and Williams-Sonoma raise millions for charities with credit card machine programs. But these programs happen at thousands of stores and the volume of foot traffic work in the charity's favor. Credit card machines are also great for businesses that don't want to display pinups in the store.

But if you're doing a local program with a retailer you may want to test to see which one performs better. Half the stores could do pinups, the other half credit card machines.

It's definitely easier to swipe and donate, but it may be even easier to swipe and NOT donate. That's one sale you don't want to miss.

Have you used paper pinups and credit card machines? Which one has worked better for you?

There She Blows! Cause Marketing, Mobile Gifts Surface with Give.mobi

I've talked a lot about the coming of mobile payments and their intersection with cause marketing on both my blog and at speaking appearances. It's something I'm really excited about. But up to now there hadn't been any sign in the water of this huge beast that would change giving and cause marketing with the same force The Whale shook Captain Ahab on the Pequod.

But the waters are parting and I see something rising: Give.mobi.

Developed by Tulsa, Oklahoma based CharityCall, Give.mobi may be the best option yet for businesses and nonprofits that want to partner and raise money via mobile technology.

Here's how Give.mobi works.

1. Shoppers scan a QR code which takes them to a custom giving page. The QR code can appear anywhere: on a register sign or product, in a sales flier, etc. Check out this QR code appeal from Cinnabon bakeries.

2. The first page highlights the details of the program, in Cinnabon's case a fundraiser for anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength. Users can also easily share the campaign with friends on Twitter and Facebook.

3. Click on "Give Now" to visit the donation page. An advantage here is that you can contribute more than you could with the $5 and $10 donations common to text giving. Not sold on donating on your phone? You can make a "pledge" by entering an amount and email address so you can receive a link to donate via PayPal, credit or debit card.

4. Once you enter a gift amount and click on "Give Now" you'll be asked to sign-in to your Paypal account and make a gift. Of course, the process isn't as easy if you don't have a PayPal account.

Give.mobi isn't free. There's a $75 set-up fee, $39 monthly fee and the company gets 5% of collected donations. You'll also have to pay PayPal 2.2% on donations plus 30 cents per transaction. You're basically paying around a buck for every ten dollars you raise. I can live with that.

Does this new mobile platform work? I was impressed that Cinnabon raised $3,800 for Share Our Strength in just five days. That's pretty good for a passive cause marketing program. The average donation was $43 and the average cost per donation was $3.40.

Cinnabon president Kat Cole is a believer: "The ability to reach out and allow patrons to donate using their mobile smartphones made a big difference."

Give.mobi is the best option right now for mobile cause marketing. You should give it a try. Bur remember: Give.mobi will have plenty of competition in 2012 as other mobile giving platforms are rolled out.  Mobile is the future, the future of cause marketing and perhaps the future of giving.

But that doesn't mean the right platform is right around the corner or will always be smooth sailing.

Like the legends of white whales that inspired Melville to write Moby Dick, we'll have to chase down each new mobile development for fundraisers to see if it's for real or a fake. But Cinnabon's success with Share Our Strength proves that Give.mobi is not just another fish story.