Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ring in the New Year with a Gift to Humanity and a Lil' Something for You

As we all know, the holidays are the time of year for friends and family to gather 'round and celebrate the blessings that life has bestowed upon us. As we prepare to ring in 2011 and make our New Year's resolutions, it's important to remember those less fortunate than us...our neighbors who are currently unemployed and struggling to put food on the table for their children, or working under horrific and abusive conditions, or stuck in hospital beds instead of in the warmth of their homes.

No matter how much or how little we have, there's always something we can do to help.

With that in mind, we would love for you to make an end-of-year charitable contribution to Glamour Gone Good so we can help our neighbors live a little better. For every $25 you donate, you'll be entered to win a free flight on JetBlue Airways.

The more you give, the more likely you'll be to win. Consider this our way of saying thank you for your gift!

See below for complete rules and restrictions.

Glamour Gone Good Grant Beneficiaries
(a.k.a. Where your money will go)

Dress for Success Worldwide promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. To date, it has helped over 500,000 women work towards self-sufficiency.

Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) helps young women and girls, ages 12-21, who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the commercial sex industry and to develop to their full potential.

Sister to Sister: The Women's Heart Health Foundation is dedicated to preventing heart disease in women. Its services include free cardiac screenings for early detection and treatment, and promoting healthy lifestyle changes that can reduce heart disease risk dramatically.

Rules and restrictions:
The contest is open to any U.S. resident. Only those individuals who send in a contribution totaling $25 or more to Glamour Gone Good, Inc. on or before January 2, 2011 will be eligible for the prize, which includes one round-trip flight on JetBlue Airways, redeemable by December 31, 2011 wherever JetBlue flies. Individuals may increase their chances of winning by donating in multiples of $25. For example, a person who donates $100 will be entered into the contest four times. One winner will be chosen at random by Glamour Gone Good, Inc. and will be contacted privately in writing by January 31, 2011. If a winner does not answer and claim the prize within 14 days, another winner will be picked at random.

Donations may be submitted by credit card here or mailed by check to Glamour Gone Good, Inc. 831 Beacon Street, Suite 192, Newton, MA 02459.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Top 5 Fashionable Female Fundraisers

Post by Vivanista

Fundraising is the new black, at least in the creative world of the high-fashion industry. Do-good fashionistas out there are working out their passions with style.

At Vivanista, we can all learn from some of the world’s most fashionable philanthropists. Here are the top five role models we can all look up to:

1. Stella McCartney

Last year, Stella McCartney designed a , tailor-made fair-trade T-shirt for the 23rd annual Comic Relief on the British extravaganza Red Nose Day. The comical day is dedicated for people to laugh out loud while raising money to help those in need across the UK and Africa.

For the project, McCartney turned to other fabulous stars for collaboration, including Claudia Schiffer, Keira Knightley, and Gwyneth Paltrow. The T-shirt also featured father Sir Paul McCartney’s The Beatles logo, imprinted with cute red noses on the happy faces of the band members.

The McCartney family’s respect for nature and vegetarianism founded the Meat Free Mondays, an organization that helps promote environmentally friendly eating habit to protect the planet. This has fostered Stella’s founding beliefs of her individual fashion sense – no fur, no leather (Shop:, and won her the Natural Resources Defence Council in March 2009. “The beliefs I was raised with – to respect animals and to be aware of nature, to understand that we share this planet with other creatures – have had a huge impact on me,” said Stella to The Guardian.

Recently, her L.A. retail store has inspired like-minded do-gooder celebrity Ali Carter, who hosted her own fundraising event at her store on November 12 last week. The eco-friendly (and fashionable!) cooking event benefits Project Peanut Butter, a movement to help malnourished children all around the world.

On the eve of the 2009 London Fashion Week, McCartney also donated a generous amount of 100,000 pounds for the new site of Central Saint Martin’s fashion school. Upon her graduation from the prestigious school in 1995, she made her debut fashion show, which included supermodels Kate Moss, Yasmin Le Bon, and Naomi Campbell. The half-built building is to be completed in 2011.

2. Donnatella Versace

Another reputable graduate from the same school is none other than Donatella Versace, who recently just raised £20,000 for the Central Saint Martin’s 20:20 Fashion Fund from the celebrity dinner she launched on November 11 last week. The fund is aiming to provide new equipments and resources for helping educate the next generation of CSM. “I’ve been watching these students – and recruiting them. This is the greatest fashion school in the world,” she told WWD.

Early this year, the legendary fashion icon has also hosted the 2nd annual Art of Elysium “Bright Lights” bash at Milk Studios in New York while relaunching her VERSUS line since its first launch in the 1990s. Versace brightened up the night with an exclusive performance of “American Boy” by Estelle, along with guest-celebrities such as the Olsen twins, supermodel Karolina Kurkova, and fourth season Project Runway winner Christian Siriano attended the event on April 30th, and together raised money for the Art of Elysium workshops, which provides encouraging activities for ill children to embrace their creativity, despite suffering from medical conditions.

In July 2009, Versace has led an art workshop for kids to design a bag for Versace. That would become the unique tote created by 500 children from Starlight Children’s Foundation and 900 from One Foundation, teaming up with co-founder actor Jet Li to fundraise for the Arts Unites program, a global initiative benefiting the needy children in US and China. As the co-chair of the Whitney Museum of American Art, she drove the Arts Unites initiative to inspire these children to become emerging artists. “Versace has always been connected to art,” she told USAToday.

3. Naomi Campbell

After appearing on numerous catwalks worldwide since Stella McCartney’s graduation, supermodel Naomi Campbell recently hosted her own charitable fashion show during London Fashion Week, the Fashion for Relief Haiti, on February 12 this year to help relief the Haiti earthquake.

“I am deeply saddened by the recent tragedy in Haiti. So many have been killed and severely affected by the earthquake – women and children in particular are most vulnerable in disasters,” she told the Daily Star. She sought help from buddies including Malin Akerman, Chris Brown, and Estelle to make it happen. Upon her initiative for the fashion show, she also worked together with luxury car company Lotus to design its 8th special edition cars called Naomi for Haiti.

In 2007, the supermodel has also strutted her philanthropic style on a fundraising catwalk event held at the Natural History Museum in London. Organized by the Rotary Club of Great Britain, the fashion show included designs by reputable designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Dolce & Gabbana, and the proceeds from the night went to the Rotary Flood Disaster Appeal that benefits the floods in UK during the month of July that year.

“I think this is an important opportunity to really show what the fashion community can do to help others,” Campbell says. She now owns Fashion For Relief, the fundraising agency that hosts charitable auctions to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.

4. Gisele Bundchen

As Naomi Campbell noted “the last supermodel” of the generation and often referred to as “the body”, Gisele Bundchen has not only been the highest-paid model of the century, but has also helped numerous projects promoting environmental causes. Just this January, she has donated $1,500,000 to relief the Haiti earthquake. Along with many contributions, such as the fundraiser campaign of celebrity-autographed iPods in 2009 benefiting the Hurricane Katrina relief, one of the most notable projects is the reforestation created by NGO in 2004, where the newly-grown Brazilian Atlantic forest will be covering lands up to 15 hectares and called the Gisele Bundchen Sementes.

With tremendous profits from a 15-year history of successful modeling career and her own businesses, eco-friendly skincare line Sejaa and Brazilian sandals Ipanema Gisele Bundchen, the face of ‘Earth Mother’ has recently donated a huge amount of $50,000 on her own for the 8th Annual Brazil Foundation gala at the Met in September, which had a set goal of $2 million. Thanks to Bundchen and her auctioned Calvin Klein gown for the night, the evening was more than successful. In that same week, she has also stopped by the Museum of Natural History for the UN Millennium Goal Summit, where she was designated as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Environmental Programme.

5. Donna Karan

Following the 2010 presidential campaign, the legendary DKNY designer Donna Karan has collaborated with Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker, hosting a Democratic fundraiser last month to raise money for the First Lady at her penthouse at Central Park West New York on October 18th.

Early this year during the Mercedez Benz Fashion Week that opened on February 11, Karan also hosted the Hope Help & Relief Haiti (HHRH) event, “A Night of Humanity”, an auction event that raised over $1,000,000 and brought together industries ranging from the arts, fashion, and entertainment at the Urban Zen Center. As founder of the Urban Zen Foundation, Karan’s aim for the HHRH movement was to raise funds for creating a new, sustainable community in Haiti.

A healthy woman who knows how to take care of herself, she also hosted a yoga fundraising event on September 29, where supermodel Christy Turlington and fellow designer Lauren Bush attended to benefit the Women for Women International, which was founded to help rebuild women’s lives from war-torn countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

Like Stella McCartney, she has also Promoted her passions on giving back to the community through designing T-shirts for the Urban Zen collection.10% of each purchase would be donated to the foundation and help empower children, promote well-being, and cultural preservation.

About the Author:
Vivanista is a member-based, lifestyle community for fundraising volunteers. Sharing of unique insights, expert tips and a spirit of giving empowers members to improve their own lives and the lives of others.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Brilliant Plan: Give, Give Back, and Tweet to Win

The holiday season is in full swing and businesses everywhere are looking to boost their end-of-year sales by offering all kinds of discounts and special offers. While many are ruthless in their attempts to gain customers (starting with 4AM Black Friday sales and countless items on clearance), others take a more inventive and even altruistic approach. After all, 'tis the season of giving. So, why shouldn't the companies taking our money also give a little, too?

Glamour Gone Good has had the good fortune of developing a wonderful relationship with Spa Week, a lifestyle brand delivering a robust spa directory, hundreds of spa deals and spa discounts, news and more all year-round.

What makes Spa Week so successful is its approach to marketing, which allows it to develop one-on-one relationships with its target audience. With a powerful online presence, it has successfully harnessed the power of social media to transform its audience into individual ambassadors of the Spa Week brand. And, now, it’s even discovered a way to integrate charitable giving into its online marketing strategy, further engaging its loyal consumer base while also attracting new consumers.

Below is an abridged version of Spa Week’s current holiday promotion, Give, Give Back, and Tweet to WIN!

Take a look at the three-step process it has developed for the campaign, which is ultimately meant to encourage SPA gift card sales.

GIVE: With the mission of spreading health, beauty and wellness lifestyle to the next generation, Spa Week’s Holiday Gift Card Sale offers $100 SPA Gift Cards for just $79.99. All other denominations are 20% off – you won’t find this deal anywhere else! SPA Cards are redeemable 52 weeks a year at thousands of day spas, medical spas, salons and wellness centers nationwide for massages, facials, scrubs, pedicures, acupuncture and more, and they never expire.

GIVE BACK: For every new @SPAWEEK Twitter follower we get from now until the end of 2010, Spa Week will donate 10 cents to Glamour Gone Good. Right now we’re at: 8,799.

We chose this organization because we absolutely love their concept, as well as the 3 women’s causes they support. GGG encourages beauty, fashion, salon and spa businesses to integrate charity into their everyday business by giving them fun and easy ways to give back to women in need, even if they don’t have much to give.

WIN: Follow @SPAWEEK and @GlamourGoneGood on Twitter.

TWEET: SPA-liday Gift Card Sale from @SPAWEEK! Follow them to #GiveBack to women in need, and Tweet to Win a $100 SPA Gift Card.

Every Tweet will count as one entry to win a $100 SPA Gift Card from SpaWeek, redeemable all year around for massages, facials and so much more. Contest Ends December 31st at 11:59 EST. Winner drawn and announced on this blog post on January 3rd.

This Spa Week campaign is a huge hit for the following reasons:

  1. It offers a substantial discount on its holiday gift cards.
  2. It has developed a catchy Twitter campaign to promote its gift cards.
  3. It has integrated a brand-appropriate charity into its Twitter campaign, allowing its audience to engage in charitable giving activities while learning about Spa Week’s gift card promotion.
  4. It is offering a free giveaway to further entice its audience to participate in its Twitter campaign, which both raises funds for charity and promotes its holiday gift card sale.

Key take-aways for other brands?

  1. DEALS: Customers want more than just sales and discounts (but they always want those, too!).
  2. DONATE: Tie a suitable charitable partner into your promotion. Customers want to feel good about their purchase and this is an easy way to give them that sense of satisfaction.
  3. FREE GIVEAWAYS: Offer the chance to win something valuable (pick an item to which you want to draw extra attention) and find the appropriate platform from which to promote your contest or sweepstakes.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Party with a Purpose: Matchmaker Matchmaker!

Post by Vivanista

Matchmaker, matchmaker! Make me a match! Find me a find! Catch me a catch!

All the single ladies out there, are you tired of the bar scene, weary of the club atmosphere, and sick of being set up on blind dates in order to meet someone new?

Why not shake things up a bit with our Matchmaker Party with a Purpose and play matchmaker with your closest gal pals? You can let your hair down with your friends, potentially find your next date, and raise money for your favorite charity all at the same time. Now, that’s what I call multi-tasking!

The Event:

Just like any other party, first start by inviting all of your best single girlfriends over for dinner or cocktails. Before your gals get too excited, let them know that there’s a catch. This party has an entrance fee: an eligible bachelor! Each one of your guests has to bring the hottest, coolest, smartest (unattached) man that she knows. He could be a good friend, a co-worker, a classmate, a cousin, or even a brother! The only requirement is that he’s single and ready to mingle. To keep the party drama-free, you should HIGHLY suggest “dates” with whom you and your girlfriends have no prior relationship. In layman’s terms: No ex-boyfriends allowed!

The Matchmaker Party with a Purpose is an easy way to meet new people and add a little spice to the traditional dinner party. The Matchmaker Party also has a perfect guy-to-girl ratio and is guaranteed to provide some fresh meat for you and your single ladies! Not to mention, all the eligible bachelors are already friend-approved. At this unique get-together, each guest is expected to come with her own date, but leave with someone else’s. Cheers to that!

The Set-Up:

The Matchmaker Party could easily be pulled off in your own home or a friend’s home. As long as there is a large enough space for your friends and the bachelors to meet, greet, and mingle, the party should go off without a hitch! If you’re not comfortable hosting a dinner party, you could also make a reservation a family-style restaurant or rent a space in hotel or bar. It all depends on how big or small you would like your party to be. Your Matchmaker Party could also have a theme complete with decorations and complementary edibles. However you choose to deck out your space, just make sure it is inviting and alluring for your new guests.


The activities at this event can be as simple or intricate as you would like. With some light music, finger food, and cocktails, guests are bound to have a great time chatting and hanging out. Since many of the people at this party will be new faces, you could also have your guests place icebreaker or compatibility games to lighten the mood and to get to know one another better. You could create randomly selected girl-guy pairs to go head-to-head in games of Pictionary, Cranium, or Charades. After a couple rounds, you can switch up the teams so that your lady friends can get to know more of the bachelors. You can also use these games as another way to fundraise.

Food and Drink:

Food and drinks at the Matchmaker Party should be tasty and filling, but not too messy or difficult to eat while standing and chatting. Also, avoid foods that are too pungent (nobody wants garlic breath at an event where they are supposed to flirt). Easy finger food and hors d’oeuvres are your best bet for an event like this. If you have a theme, you could also have corresponding dishes. For example, a holiday theme could include green cocktails and red treats or a Tropical Island themed Matchmaker Party could feature grilled pineapple and ham pizza and pina coladas.


For this event, it is probably best to keep the attire cute and casual. Guests can be cute and stylish enough to impress their fellow guests, but casual and comfortable enough that girls won’t be worrying about tight dresses and guys won’t be fidgeting with constricting collars. If you choose to incorporate a theme, you could turn your Matchmaker Party into a costumed event. A costume contest is also another great fundraising opportunity and certainly a great conversation starter.

How To Fundraise:

The easiest way to fundraise for this event is by having each couple make a donation at the door. This donation could be anywhere from $5 to $50. And of course, the more single girlfriends you invite, the more money that you can raise for charity. Many people pay good money to go to singles events, but the added incentive for your guests to attend this Party with a Purpose is that all the money is going to charity. During the party itself, you can raise even more money for charity using the icebreaker games or a costume competition. You and friends could even take bets on which bachelor each girl will like the best. The girl at the end of the night with the most correct matches will win and can decide which charity the money will be given to.

About the Author:
Vivanista is a member-based, lifestyle community for fundraising volunteers. Sharing of unique insights, expert tips and a spirit of giving empowers members to improve their own lives and the lives of others.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Give and Get with Glamour Gone Good this Holiday Season

NOTE: The Kimpton NYC holiday giveaway contest has officially closed. Thanks to all those who participated.

In the spirit of the holidays, Glamour Gone Good has some really exciting ways for you to both give and get!

Starting December 2, 2010, anyone that follows @GlamourGoneGood on Twitter and re-tweets: I just entered the @GlamourGoneGood contest to win a 2-night stay at @Kimpton in NYC. Tweet and win! #giveaway will automatically be entered to win a complimentary two-night stay at Kimpton Hotel's Eventi Hotel in New York, NY, redeemable through May 2011.

The rules are as follows:

The winner will be announced via Twitter on Friday, December 10, 2010.

Rules: The contest is open to any U.S. resident with a Twitter account. The winner will be picked at random from re-tweets and announced via twitter tweets and a direct message to the winner. If a winner does not answer and claim the prize within 7 days, another winner will be picked at random. The prize includes a complimentary certificate of stay for two nights in a King room at Eventi Hotel in New York, NY (room and tax only). Complimentary certificate of stay expires on May 30, 2011.

Other exciting ways to give and get with Glamour Gone Good include:
1. Glamour Gone Good's JetBlue Flights Giveaway
2. Spa Week's Spa-liday Promotion
3. Glamour Gone Good's virtual shop

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ivanka Trump Offers Shoppers One More Way to Give Back this Holiday Season

With Thanksgiving just a week away, the holiday season is officially in full swing. And, so is this season’s holiday shopping.

On that note, one of my favorite communications agencies, Cone LLC, just released a study today that indicates that shoppers are looking for ways to support causes while doing their holiday shopping. According to the 2010 Cone Holiday Trend Tracker, “nearly nine-in-10 consumers (89%) want companies to support causes this holiday season, and 78 percent want to be personally engaged in these efforts. Getting a jump on their shopping, half (49%) of Americans say they have already purchased or plan to purchase a holiday gift that supports a cause this year.” (Related post: You Shop, They Donate)

I’m thrilled to see that the United Nations has its finger on the American pulse. Just two days ago on November 15, 2010, the UN Foundation held a reception for its Girl Up Campaign in New York, hosted by Ivanka Trump, the new face of the campaign. During the reception, Ivanka, and her fine jewelry partners at London Jewelers brought together the jewelry world to raise awareness and funds for Girl Up, which will ultimately provide the world’s hardest-to-reach adolescent girls with basic needs such as access to school supplies, clean water, life-saving health services, safety from violence, and more. Here's the blog post written by Ivanka about the event, published just yesterday.

In an effort to raise funds for Girl Up, Ivanka Trump has developed a sterling silver Girl Up bracelet, retailing for $30, of which 100% of proceeds benefit the organization.

What excites me most about this campaign is that the UN Foundation has very intelligently developed a campaign with two critical components: (1) a celebrity spokesperson and (2) a product that benefits charity.

I hope to see other similarly structured campaigns this holiday season. If you spot any, let us know. And, if you’re looking to do a little shopping of your own, stop by Glamour Gone Good’s shop, which features fashionable items that benefit women and girls.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

You Shop, They Donate

With the holidays around the corner, we’re seeing all kinds of incentives being marketed to shoppers these days, from coupons to free shipping offers to sales promotions of all shapes and sizes.

There’s no doubt that consumers want to stretch their dollars as far as possible this year, so these promotions go a long way. However, these aren’t the only ways for businesses to boost their sales this holiday season.

A great trend emerging in the consumer world is driven by cause marketing. More and more companies are realizing that consumers are interested in more than discounts and free gifts. They want the dollars coming out of their pockets to multi-task. What do I mean by this? More and more consumers want to spend money on products that give back to charity. (For more on this topic, read one of our previous posts, Do You ‘Shop For A Cause’?) Companies are listening. Here in the U.S., you see this most commonly during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October and around the end-of-year holiday season.

It’s a brilliant strategy to adopt because everyone ends up a winner. Consumers get excited by the fact that their money is not only going towards their purchases, but also towards meaningful causes. Meanwhile, brands see a boost in sales (assuming they market their promotions effectively) and get the chance to take advantage of these charity-driven promotions to garner new press opportunities. And, of course, the charities that benefit from these percent-of-proceeds promotions end up raising funds without having to do much on their end beyond spreading the word.

With all of this in mind, I was inspired to launch a virtual shop that features products and brands offering a percent of proceeds from all purchases made in their online shops shops to Glamour Gone Good. The brands currently participating in the Glamour Gone Good virtual shop are:
  • Good For Your Girls
  • Stop Traffick Fashion
  • The Glamour Band
Stop by the Glamour Gone Good shop and maybe you’ll find the perfect gift for a loved one or a little treat for yourself. If you’re interested in contributing to the shop, it’s not too late to contact us. Or, simply help us spread the word.

Perhaps this blog post and our own shop will inspire you to develop a percent-of-proceeds promotion of your own to support causes near and dear to the hearts of your consumers. If you want some help, email us at

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Charity Doesn't Solve Anything. Say What?

Post by Lis Ann Morehart

While Bill Gates and Warren Buffet travel the globe to encourage billionaires worldwide to pledge half their wealth to charitable causes, the world's wealthiest man, Carlos Slim of Mexico, has opened up about his own views on philanthropy. In recent public appearances, Mr. Slim has been quoted as saying, "the only way to fight poverty is with employment. Trillions of dollars have been given to charity in the last 50 years, and they don't solve anything. To give 50%, 40%, that does nothing. There is a saying that we should leave a better country to our children. But it's more important to leave better children to our country."

While I do believe that creating jobs for poverty-stricken adults around the globe can substantially help improve the quality of life of their families and communities, I have to disagree with Mr. Slim's argument that charity doesn't solve anything. Just the sound of those words strung together makes my heart skip a beat.

How do you accurately measure the impact of a charity? I don't know that even the best not-for-profit experts have cracked that code yet. A common approach is to take a look at a charity's annual budget, but what does that really tell us? Is a charity that only raised $173,000 in 2009 worth exactly $173,000 to its community? If it only employs three people, should it close up shop unless it can find a way to employ more people?

Not all charities are specifically targeted at those individuals living in poverty. Did you know that the amount of deaths as a result of breast cancer have decreased 5.2% per year since 1990? This progress is due to earlier detection, a direct result of increased breast cancer awareness, and improved treatments that would not have been possible without breast cancer research. Did you also know that thanks to the World Wildlife Fund, the number of rhinos in Africa have increased by 7,435 in a decade? Or that hundreds of girls are being pulled out of sex trafficking every day?

Why diminish the relevance and impact of these charities just because they are not specifically focused on creating jobs?

Charities create jobs, too. After all, who do you think is running the show back there? It's not the Wizard of Oz. Charities provide many important jobs for individuals choosing to work in the not-for-profit sector. Here in the United States, those jobs make up almost 10% of the national workforce!

Of course, many of these charities are also busy training and equipping low-income people to enter the work force and pursue long-term employment opportunities by offering free employment workshops and hosting job fairs. These same charities provide free basic medical care, as well as counseling for those who have become addicted to drugs and alcohol or suffer from mental illnesses.

Charity isn't just about the end result. For the donor, it's also about the act of giving. Countless people around the world engage in charitable activities regularly because they want to play a role in making the world a better place. Some people give their time. Others give money. In the case of billionaires, you have to admit that one billionaire can make a much greater impact by writing one check than by donating 100 hours to a soup kitchen each year. Others of us may be able to flip a coin as to which would be of greater value to our community...the change in our pockets or the time on our hands. Personally speaking, I have done a great deal of volunteer work ranging from working with the homeless and helping the elderly, to being an ambassador for children. I've been on the flip side, as well, as the beneficiary of charity during my father's battle with cancer. So, I can tell you with confidence from personal experience that charity changes lives....for both the givers and the receivers.

Still think that charity doesn't solve anything? Take the opportunity to become involved in some form of charitable activity and discover for yourself just how you can impact the lives of others less fortunate than yourself. If you want to volunteer, check out Volunteer Match. If you want to donate funds, find a charity that inspires you on Guide Star or Charity Navigator. Who knows... maybe you'll be left changed by the experience, too.

About the Author: Lis Ann Morehart is an intern for Glamour Gone Good, dedicated to teaching women and girls how to glam up their inner beauty, and mobilizing the fashion and beauty industry to use their resources to make the world a better place.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Online Cause Marketing: Do Well by Doing Good

Post by Vivanista

Bruce Burtch, an entrepreneur in the world of cause marketing, summed up his work in five words: “Do well by doing good.” Cause marketing is a mutually beneficial, cooperative effort between a business and a nonprofit organization. In this way, nonprofits receive exposure and support while corporations simultaneously promote their business. In 1976, the Marriot Corporation partnered with March of Dimes for one of the first true cause marketing campaigns. Marriot sought to promote the opening of their theme park, Great America, while March of Dimes hoped to greatly increase fundraising by the program’s deadline. The end result? The most successful promotion in the history of Chapters West of the March of Dimes and a record-breaking opening for Great America.

But cause marketing isn’t just a thing of the past. In 2009 alone, $1.57 billion was spent on cause marketing. And as marketing, communication, fundraising, and shopping transition to an entirely online world, applications like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have become the new tools of the trade. Thinking about starting your own experiment in online cause marketing? Examine it from the perspective of both nonprofits and corporations and learn from the experiences of previous partnerships. Finish off with some general tips for online cause marketing and you’ll be doing well by doing good in no time!

For Nonprofits:
First, nonprofit organizations must understand that both parties are equally important in a cause marketing relationship. In the same way that nonprofit organizations couldn’t accomplish many goals without a corporate partner, businesses need nonprofits to succeed. For example, nonprofit organizations have expertise in areas that corporations find crucial. Who better to decide where money should be spent than the workers who are on the ground facing the issues everyday? Therefore, nonprofits should feel empowered. However, in fulfilling their obligations to a corporate partner, an organization must critically assess what they can offer and potentially shift their approach in order to maximize results. And in a corporate world where all that matters is the bottom line, nonprofits must discover ways to measure and report their impact in order to prove that cause marketing is a worthwhile strategy for both parties.

When it comes to online cause marketing in particular, the success of a partnership depends mainly on the nonprofit’s activity in the social media world. Businesses look for nonprofits with a strong base of followers and support, but more than that, they need a partner who can mobilize support to actually create change.

For Corporations:
Businesses are now realizing is that social good motivates consumer change. A recent study found that 89% of Americans (ages 13 to 25) would switch brands of a similar quality and price if one was associated with a good cause. However, with the increasing prevalence of cause marketing, consumers have become adept at detecting PR schemes versus sincere philanthropic efforts. Therefore, it is important for corporations to find a delicate balance between a cause that is relevant to their company but is also meaningful to consumers. Above all, corporations must care about the cause everyday, not just at the time of a transaction. In an article from the Good Works section of Advertising Age, the author summed up the formula for a successful cause marketing partnership from a corporation’s side: “Engage, don’t just sell. Educate, don’t just market. Find a nonprofit partner that makes sense. And if consumer donations are involved, be open and specific about what they are accomplishing.”

Online Cause Marketing in Action
To see how others have put online cause marketing to work in the real world, look for resources like Mashable’s list of “5 Winning Corporate Social Good Campaigns.” They include examples like Crate and Barrel’s DonorsChoose gift certificates, in which customers chose among education initiatives to invest in online using gift certificates provided by the store. Next, check out Target’s “Bullseye Gives” Facebook campaign, which combined crowd sourcing, social media, philanthropy, and a contest. Over a two-week period, Target encouraged its Facebook fans to choose among 10 nonprofits to receive a $3 million prize. And don’t forget one of the most prominent examples of online cause marketing today: the Pepsi Refresh Project. If you don’t know how it works, Pepsi accepts 1,000 new ideas every month to benefit charity. Next, anyone can vote for up to 10 ideas every day. Every month, Pepsi awards grants ranging from $5,000 to $250,000 (totaling $1.3 million every month) to winners in categories like health, arts and culture, food and shelter, the planet, neighborhoods, and education.

Tips and Tricks
Before you launch your own online cause marketing campaign, remember a few crucial tips. First, be aware of your different audiences across different social media outlets. Your Facebook fans may not be the same as your Twitter followers, so treat them as separate entities. Don’t just collect supporters for mere appearances; mobilize them by asking them to vote, join other platforms, donate money, or share content. When it comes to timing, run campaigns for as long as you can without causing supporter fatigue. Sometimes short and sweet is best, as evidenced by one-day Twitter campaigns.

When getting into the nitty-gritty of what social media outlet is the best, it depends on your campaign’s goals. If you simply want to connect with other like-minded individuals and groups to share and learn, Twitter might be best for you. For the ability to send detailed information to supporters and allow supporters to connect more easily, Facebook or Causes on Facebook is the way to go. For filmmakers in the cause marketing world, YouTube can also be an effective tool to motivate followers. And the next big thing in social media? Location-based marketing tools like FourSquare and Gowalla. Since these applications are not as common as Facebook or Twitter, the key is enlisting them, not just waiting for them to join. And since it is projected that in people will use the Internet on their phones as much as on their computers within five years, you can be ahead of the game by learning these tools now.

What tips can you give to Non-profits or Corporations interested in Cause Marketing Online?

About the Author:
Vivanista is a member-based, lifestyle community for fundraising volunteers. Sharing of unique insights, expert tips and a spirit of giving empowers members to improve their own lives and the lives of others.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Do You Choose Your Causes Or Do They Choose You?

Everywhere I turn these days, it seems I am surrounded by a sea of pink somehow linking back to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Soon, holiday season promotions will begin and we’ll be seeing all kinds of charitable messaging around the "season of giving." Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not complaining. The more dollars given to charity, the better! However, I do stop and wonder whether our charitable actions are motivated more by personal preferences or just really good marketing. In other words, do we choose our causes or do they choose us?

Seems like a silly question, but let’s give this some serious thought.

Answer this question honestly: Do you care more about breast cancer than other life-threatening diseases like lung cancer, heart disease or AIDS? If your answer is yes, then that’s wonderful news because your cause is getting lots of attention and funding right now. However, if you answered “no,” then you might be wondering why in the world all of America is looking so pink these days.

On a related note, here’s a quick little quiz for you.

Did you know that in addition to being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October is also…

a) Domestic Violence Awareness Month

b) LGBT History Month

c) National Down Syndrome Awareness Month

d) World Blindness Awareness Month

e) Healthy Lung Month

This quiz is worth a total of 5 points. Give yourself 1 point for every time you answered, “yes.” How many points did you get? Not surprisingly, I got a whopping zero, a.k.a. a big fat F. So, either I’m really ignorant or we’re all doing a lot more to promote breast cancer awareness this month than any other cause that happens to “share” October with breast cancer awareness.

Here’s another question: Are you more inclined to volunteer at a soup kitchen, raid your closet for gently used shoes and clothes, or donate cash to a homeless shelter towards the end of the year, during the height of the holiday season, than at any other time? For me, the answer is most definitely, “yes.”

Last year, money was tight in my household. So, I had a choice to make. Either I could make my ritual end-of-year donation to charity or I could buy holiday gifts for the various members of my rather large family. While I was tempted to go on a holiday shopping spree, I decided to make an online donation to a homeless shelter in Chicago, where much of my family happens to live. I, then, sent holiday cards to my family members, informing them that I’ve made a donation in their name to this particular homeless shelter. It felt so good to do that, but honestly, I have no idea why I chose a homeless shelter over any other charity. There’s just something about the holidays that makes me think of helping out the homeless even though I’m so much more passionate about women’s and girls' empowerment issues (hence why I launched Glamour Gone Good this year).

Am I alone here? Or do you often find yourself getting involved with the “cause of the moment” even if it’s not really the cause you’re most passionate about?

In my humble opinion, huge advertising and marketing firms, as well as the Fortune 100 companies that hire them, have somehow penetrated my mind and taught me to believe that during the month of October, I need to think pink, talk pink, and wear pink. Then, during the holidays, I need to empty my closet and my pocketbook for the homeless people in my community. And, any time a natural disaster hits any part of the world and involves substantial human devastation, I need to shell out as much cash as I can to support the cause…and if I don’t, there’s something seriously wrong with me.

What’s your opinion? Am I over-thinking the influence of corporate America and American media on my personal decisions regarding charitable giving? Or would you agree that, generally speaking, Americans tend to spend less time and money on issues that speak to us than to causes of the moment?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Latest Trends In Corporate Charitable Giving

October 1st kicked off Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a hugely popular time of year for companies to embrace the beauty of charitable giving. Everyone from the NFL to Hershey’s to Bloomingdale’s has gone pink for the month and is donating large sums of cash to breast cancer organizations.

Unfortunately for me, there are so many companies involved in breast cancer awareness that I could not decide which ones to highlight for you. So, instead, I’ve decided to explore with you the latest trends in corporate charitable giving.

October is a great month to talk about corporate giving since it’s a month saturated with charitable messaging thanks to the permeation of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in American society. You can’t argue with the fact that pink ribbons have become the October equivalent of red ribbons and bright lights around the holidays. But, how has corporate giving evolved since Breast Cancer Awareness Month emerged and corporations began slapping pink ribbons on products? Has the recipe for corporate giving truly changed over time? Or just the packaging?

You be the judge.

Generally speaking, most companies engaging in charitable giving programs usually do so in one of the following ways:
1. No-frills cash or product donations to charity
2. Employee giving matching programs
3. Event sponsorships
4. One-dollar donation for pin-up programs (usually at grocery stores)
5. Percent-of-proceeds promotions tied to specific products (especially popular during Breast Cancer Awareness Month)
6. Some combination of any or all of the above

We still continue to see all of these forms of corporate giving, but new trends are emerging, a few of which I find particularly fascinating. Thanks to some friendly folks at Benevity, I’m going to share with you some of the latest and greatest options available to companies of all shapes and sizes that are interested in charitable giving.

Online micro-donations: Companies can integrate special software into their e-commerce engines to allow customers to make donations to the charities of their choice while making online purchases. In some cases, companies will match what their customers contribute dollar-for-dollar.

Text-to-give: Companies can partner with not-for-profits to set up mobile texting programs that allow customers to text unique keywords from their cell phones to shot numeric codes, making quick and easy donations to charity from their mobile devices.

Charitable gift cards: Companies can purchase gift cards for employees and/or customers (as thank you gifts or a show of appreciation) that have specific cash values. The recipients of these gift cards can donate the cash value of their gift cards to the charities of their choice.

Add to these strategies another new trend in corporate charitable giving: Crowd-sourced corporate giving. (Think Chase Community Giving and Pepsi Refresh for the two most relevant examples of this.) Companies decide in advance how much total cash they plan to distribute to charity and create online portals through which charities and community leaders can promote their projects. Consumers are given specific time frames during which they can vote online for their favorite charities or community projects to win cash grants. The winners of these crowd-sourced online contests win both free publicity and cash for their organizations or proposed projects.

So, what do you think? Is corporate giving as we’ve known it transforming thanks to the wonders of technology? Or will traditional charitable giving strategies continue to rule despite these new advances?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

September: Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that September is both National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month? For the lovely ladies reading this blog today, this is dedicated to you.

The Facts:
The American Cancer Society estimates that 21,880 women will develop ovarian cancer this year. Sadly, another 13,850 are expected to die of the disease this year, too.

Over 50% of women with ovarian cancer are over the age of 65. Young ladies, don’t feel too relieved because that means almost 50% of women with ovarian cancer are under 65 years old. Younger women are, however, twice as likely to survive five years following their diagnosis than are their older counterparts.

As my friend and President of Cancer Schmancer, Fran Drescher, would say, “Early detection equals survival!” So, if you get anything out of today’s blog post, I hope it’s this: Know the early warning signs of the cancers that can affect you! You’re not too young, old, skinny, fat, dark, light, rich or poor for cancer. I promise you that.

Bottom line: Cancer doesn’t discriminate. So, hit the books, or at least these important websites. It may help you save a life, whether it be your own or that of a loved one.
American Cancer Society
National Cancer Institute
Women's Cancer Network

For more information specifically about ovarian cancer, here are some additional helpful links:
Ovarian Cancer National Alliance
National Ovarian Cancer Coalition
Ovarian Cancer Research Fund

Luckily for you and I, the American public is becoming more and more interested in raising awareness for ovarian cancer. So, as you can imagine, lots of companies are following suit. As founder and CEO of Glamour Gone Good, Inc., I’m particularly excited to see the fashion and beauty worlds infusing ovarian cancer awareness into their work.

Some of my favorite campaigns and programs for National Ovarian Cancer Awareness this year include:

Super Saturday 13
Hosted by Donna Karan, QVC, and InStyle, Super Saturday 13 featured its famous one-of-a-kind designer garage sale with kids' carnival, gourmet dining and exciting activities galore on July 31, 2010 in Water Mill, NY, benefiting the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. The event raised a whopping $3.3 million to support OCRF's mission of funding research to find a method of early detection and, ultimately, a cure for ovarian cancer.

It’s not too late to support the QVC Super Saturday campaign! Check out the Designer Sale going on now to benefit OCRF on

Rumpled to Runway Fashion Show
TV hostess, Kelly Ripa, and Electrolux asked a group of fashion bloggers to participate in a special ovarian cancer awareness-themed fashion show hosted by Kelly Ripa during New York Fashion Week.

In addition to raising awareness for ovarian cancer during Fashion Week, Electrolux has committed to donating $750,000 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund by donating a percentage of Perfect Steam™ washer and dryer purchases. Effective September 8th, visitors to can also donate $1 to OCRF every time they press the Perfect Steam™ button.

Ovarian Health 101 National Teleconference

On September 20, 2010, Bright Pink, the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and Sharsheret hosted a national teleconference about everything you need to know about ovarian health. The speakers shared cutting-edge information from leading medical experts on topics related to genetics, fertility preservation, cancer prevention, and so much more.

Teal Toes
Many nail polish brands have embraced ovarian cancer awareness by developing beautiful teal nail colors that, in many cases, contribute a percent of proceeds to ovarian cancer organizations.

Here are a few examples:
Priti NYC’s Tulip Tree Teal

Karma Organic’s Don’t Teal My Heart Away
Sephora by OPI’s Teal We Meet Again (does not donate percent of proceeds anywhere)

Know of any other fabulous ovarian cancer awareness campaigns? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Here's wishing you a very happy, healthy and safe National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month! Please keep in touch and join our mailing list by registering at

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Skin Care Brands Gone Good: The Results

A couple weeks ago, Glamour Gone Good issued a survey called Skin Care Brands Gone Good. The survey focused on three socially responsible campaigns launched by three different skin care brands: Dove, Clean & Clear, and philosophy. Below are our findings and some additional thoughts.

Background information on survey takers:
  • 100% of respondents were female
  • 75% of respondents are between ages 25 to 34
  • 25% of respondents are between ages 35 to 49
  • 100% of respondents use skin care products on a daily basis

Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty was the overwhelmingly popular choice amongst all survey respondents with 100% of respondents saying they would support the campaign, if they are not already doing so.

Conversely, Clean & Clear's Join the Surge program seemed to have the least impact on survey takers. While 100% of survey takers felt either somewhat or highly motivated to support Dove's and philosophy’s campaigns, none of them felt the same way about Join the Surge.

There are a few possible reasons for this. First of all, the Join the Surge campaign is targeted at teens. Given that 100% of respondents were ages 25 or above, they were clearly not the target audience for the campaign. So, it’s not a huge surprise that they did not respond as excitedly to this program as they did to Dove's and philosophy’s socially responsible campaigns.

In addition, as the survey results would indicate, our respondents were most interested in campaigns that had the strongest relationship with the charities involved in their campaigns. Along those lines, the overwhelming majority of respondents felt that philosophy’s shop for a cause campaign is most successfully supporting its charities (it clearly communicates to its consumers which charity each "shop for a cause" product benefits and it donates 100% of net proceeds to that charity.) Meanwhile, neither Dove nor Clean & Clear clearly communicates to the consumer its strategy for supporting its charity partner(s). An important question left lingering in our minds is what kind of financial contribution either brand is making to its charity partner(s), if any.

Most importantly, 100% of survey takers responded that they prefer brands that invest in multi-year, multimedia campaigns. So, it’s no surprise that Join the Surge did not excite respondents since the campaign lasted only three months while both Dove's and philosophy's campaigns have been going on for at least a few years.

Why does any of this matter?

This survey and its results were an interesting experiment that reinforced some important lessons for brands engaging in socially responsible and charitable activities. They are as follows:

1. Consumers want specifics. They want to know exactly how brands are supporting the charities around which they develop their campaigns. Slapping a logo on promotional materials with a vague ‘We Are A Proud Supporter Of’ message is no longer relevant for today’s sophisticated, savvy consumer.

2. Consumers want a long-term commitment. Heavily promoting a campaign that will only last a week or a month will not have as great an impact on a brand’s consumer base as a campaign that lasts all year or is repeated annually. People are forgetful, so it's critical to develop a campaign that is sure to leave a lasting impression. If a brand really wants to woo its consumers, it must think of its charitable campaigns as long-term relationships, not quick flings that are here today and gone tomorrow.

3. Consumers want brands to care about what they care about. All too often, brands align themselves with causes or issues of special significance to their CEOs and founders. Unfortunately, those issues or causes may not always resonate with their consumers. Meanwhile, brands that listen to their consumers and develop campaigns that truly speak to them are in a better position to increase consumer brand loyalty and boost sales of products and services tied to those campaigns. While not all brands have the resources to conduct formal market research and talk to focus groups, they can all reach out to their most loyal consumers, survey them and, most importantly, engage them in meaningful dialogue to find out exactly what moves them.

What other important lessons can we learn from our consumers when it comes to developing meaningful and successful socially responsible campaigns?