Learning from Philanthropy
We do a “Cause Marketing 101” presentation for our clients that in one section traces a broad timeline of the evolution of philanthropy from the start of the last century till today, how mass media has changed over the same period, with an overlay of what’s been going on in cause related marketing since its (widely agreed upon) beginning in 1983 with the American Express/Statue of Liberty fundraising drive. It’s an interesting slide, particularly if you geek out over cultural timelines (and I do). But the big takeaway of the slide is meant to be that as society and its means of communicating and interacting evolve, so do the myriad ways we humans do good and give back. To amplify this further — and more eloquently — here’s a quote from Sean Stannard-Stockton’s “Tactical Philanthropy” blog:
Unlike the Rockefellers, Carnegies and other early foundation founders who created entities that mirrored existing institutions, the structured philanthropic vehicles of the 21st century will create a tradition similar to the emerging Web 2.0 companies. Rather than concentrated pools of money which imitate existing institutional structures, the new philanthropists will be smaller, widely distributed agents of change who co-create the social sector that they support.
For anyone embarking upon or already involved in CRM, there is no better place to learn from than the world of philanthropy. Real innovation in fundraising and donor (substitute consumer) engagement is happening in that world: watch and learn.