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.