One of the clients I work with is the cause marketing agency Personality™ in Los Angeles. They’re all about bringing businesses and non-profits together so everybody wins. It’s Bono’s (Product) Red, where products like the iPod Nano on Converse sneakers donate a portion of the purchase to the Global Fund. It’s the percentage Target donates to the local school of your choice when you use your Target credit card. It’s a cool little concept and I’ve had fun blogging about it on the Personality™ site.
What I think is especially cool about it is that philanthropy is changing. It’s not about wining and dining old rich guys anymore. It’s about getting all sorts of people involved in helping good causes. It can happen through partnerships like (Product) Red, where your purchase suddenly has a greater purpose. It also happens through new forms of fundraising that go so far beyond pledge drives and door-to-door begging.
People want to change the world, but it no longer ends with a simple donation. We want more. We want to know how our money is spent, we want to see lives changed, and we want new ways to give (not always straight donations). People want to be more involved, and that’s a good thing for causes. And a good thing for businesses–I’d rather buy from a business with a conscience.