It’s an exciting time to be in cause marketing as technology is having a major impact on how dollars are raised, where they are spent, and how connected people feel to corporate cause initiatives. Savvy companies are using advances in technology to help their stakeholders feel the benefits of their cause programs in their own neighborhoods.
Instead of fundraising dollars disappearing to a nonprofit’s national office hundreds or even thousands of miles away, innovative online platforms, mobile and social media are driving tangible, local results that are a win for the community and the company.
Here are three programs that are national in scope but local in impact.
DICK’s Sporting Goods Uses Crowdfunding to Save Local Sports
In March 2014, DICK’s Sporting Goods and the DICK’s Sporting Goods Foundation announced a $25 million multi-year commitment to support youth athletic programs including donations to and sponsorships of local sports teams. At the same time, DICK’s Sporting Goods Foundation launched Sports Matter, a proprietary crowd-funding platform that lets youth sports teams raise money from supporters and earn a matching grant through its foundation.
A key part of the program is that sports groups need to raise half the money themselves. DICK’s helps with fundraising training – essentially teaching the groups to fish for themselves before rewarding them for their efforts. Just giving away money doesn’t solve the larger issue.
“[It’s] very important to us that these teams learn to fundraise…so they can fund their team for years to come,” said Lauren Hobart, CMO of DICK’s.
184 teams joined the crowdfunding program representing 35 states and 35 unique sports. The teams raised more than $2 million in donations during the five-week fundraising campaign. With DICK’s Sporting Goods Foundation matching grants, $4.6 million reached youth sports teams facing severe financial challenges.
Zoetis Uses an Online Platform to Support Thousands of Local Animal Shelters
The Gold Halo-Award-winning Zoetis for Shelters program supports thousands of local neighborhood animal shelters with expert tips, product donations, and valuable discounts on vital necessities.
Through the support of innovative technology, this program has saved local animal shelters more than $20MM to date. This milestone represents more than just a significant cost savings. In 2015 alone, this program has enabled the adoption of 1.8MM additional animals into loving homes by directly increasing the mission-delivery capacity of the shelters.
Zoetis overcame the inherent challenges of launching and scaling up a program directed to thousands of individual local organizations to achieve sustainable social impact.
Uber Drives Home Importance of Local Collection Drives
For a company that launched just five years ago, the numbers behind Uber are amazing:
- 160,000 drivers
- 8 million customers
- Active in 400 cities
That’s why when Uber reached out to one Goodwill office in New York City about helping transport collections, both organizations knew that the opportunity was limitless. Uber and Goodwill quickly formed a national partnership that would have customers using the app to donate clothes to their local Goodwill store.
In one day, Uber collected 250,000 pounds of clothing for Goodwill!
The power of Uber’s app and customer and employee base, along with Goodwill’s 2,800 stores produced an instant local impact.
“The 250,000 pounds of clothes we collected funded over 361,000 hours of job training and career placement,” said Ryan Kuhn of Goodwill International.
Goodwill wasn’t the only winner.
“At the same time we were collecting clothes…Uber [saw] more app downloads from new customers that were from our core demographic, women 35 to 45,” said Ryan.
Today’s consumers and employees want to see how companies are using their assets to be a force for good, solving real problems that affect their own local neighborhoods every day. Companies are increasingly answering this call with technology-supported solutions that help them translate their key national/global cause commitments into tangible, local achievements consumers prefer. You can use this assessment to identify opportunities where your company can deepen the strategic value and social impact of your cause partnerships.